When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.”
Years ago, I was having some trouble with my foot and went to see a podiatrist. I did the sole inserts, took the meds and did the exercise. Oh my goodness, the injections as well. None of these things was getting the job done and the next step was going to physical therapy. Since nothing was working, I asked my doctor if I was headed to surgery…because if I was, my preference was to ‘cut to the chase’ and just do it. We did!
I would have to admit that I am a person who would prefer to ‘cut to the chase’ in most cases. The Lord has taught me that He is the potter and I am clay and He does not always see it that way. I would not even begin to count the times that He has held me in His hands and said “wait, my child, wait.”
Today’s verses help us to understand that God’s ways are not always our ways and His way is always perfect. Faith reminds us that God is always at work “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).”
Jesus told us that we would have trouble in this world but God never leads us to any place or circumstance that will be more than we can handle in Christ. In fact, He promised in 1 Corinthians 10:13, that “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
The Lord does not take the short route because He is protecting the Israelites from battles, conflict, fear, and the unwise decision of returning to Egypt. God is in fact, protecting them from themselves. The Lord created and knows the hearts of the Israelites and He knows my heart along with yours. I am sure had He asked the Israelites, they would have said, ‘let’s take the direct route, we are are equal to it.’ God knew He needed to protect them and He knows that we so need His wisdom and protection as well. Whatever route He chooses is always best and whatever route that is we are never alone. He has promised to be with us always, never to leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5)!
2 Corinthians 3:18 declares “We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.” Shout now Hallelujah! This is our experience as the precious children of God. Just know that there is no ‘cut to the chase’ with God. Trust Him and follow His lead! As Jesus said in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
We can trust God every step of the way! His is always a great and glorious plan not to harm, but to prosper and give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).