Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to turn back.” (Ex. 14:1–2)
“An alternate route is available. Do you want to take it?” The navigation app on my smartphone (I call her Gloria) wanted to know. I glanced at the route. I-64 to Louisville, then I-65 to Indy, and home. “No, Gloria,” I said. “I’ll stay on I-75 to Cincinnati,” and kept driving. The last thing I wanted was to head west, clearly out of the way. I was on the fastest route, and I knew it.
But Gloria knew better. After inching through a thirty-mile traffic jam, I arrived home past midnight. Because Gloria had data for the entire route—and, incidentally, for the entire country—she knew that her “detour” would have saved me two hours. Next time, I’ll trust her.
God occasionally presents me with alternate routes also. He sometimes says, “Wait,” or “Take this sideroad,” or simply, “Turn back.” Sadly, I have occasionally said, “No thanks, Lord. I’m on the fastest route, and I know it.” Moses may have felt that way, and the Israelite people surely did. When making a beeline to freedom, nobody wants to be told to turn around.
Yet Moses trusted enough to follow God’s detour. As a result, God revealed his glory. Through painful experience, I’ve learned that God’s detours are always more expedient than my “direct” path. The next time God offers you an alternate route, what will you do?
Begin the morning with this prayer: “Lord, which way?”
Lawrence W. Wilson lives in rural Indiana where he enjoys cycling, yardwork, and reading a wide assortment of books.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.