“The Lord says, “I will teach you the way you should go; I will instruct you and advise you.” Psalm 32:8
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
Even though I knew the route to work well, I would always set off with the guidance on. That way if there was heavy traffic or my usual route was blocked, my sat nav would divert me to an alternative (hopefully faster) route.
The problem was, my sat nav would never tell me why it was diverting me from our usual route, it would just suddenly announce “save 15 minutes- exit left”. Then, as I was driving down the new back street or winding country road, I would find myself asking:
‘Are you sure sat nav?
Is it actually quicker that way?
What’s down this road?
Where are you taking me?’
Sometimes our journeys through life with God, can feel similar.
We have set plans of where we are heading and how we think we can get there. But more often than not, we find ourselves getting frustrated when the journey turns out to be far from straightforward. Our path takes unexpected turns, leading us occasionally in what what we perceive to be wholly the wrong direction.
So why are God’s journeys with us so full of diversions, side roads and detours?
I believe the purpose of diversions; both on the road and in life are 2 fold:
1: To avoid major incidents.
These accident prone paths, at best, significantly slow us down as we sit in standstill traffic. But at worst could leave us really hurt. We may never know the accident that was avoided, but God does.
2: There is something on the side route that we need to see.
Often on mornings of unexpected rerouting I would be moaning in my car about how late I was going to be or how I had no idea where I was, then all of a sudden the path would open up in front of me and a beautiful view of the sea would be before me. The view would calm my anxiety and frustration, and ultimately leave me in a better head space to face the day.
Sometimes the route God sends us on better prepares us for our end destination. Using diversions and pit stops to refuel and build us up, so we end up at our destination greater prepared to face the next step than if we had skipped it all and gone straight to the end point.
Trusting God’s path isn’t easy, it can be frustrating at times. But trust that; whilst we can only see a small section of the road, He sees the whole route and will take us the way we need to go.
Written by Amanda Fung (Hope City Newcastle) as part of the SHE IS Collective Blog Series