Pastor John Anderson
A Bend In The Road
"But God led the people about..." - Exodus 13:18
Imagine the excitement that the people of Israel must have felt when they left Egypt! They had been in captivity for over 400 years, God hears their cry, sends them a deliverer named Moses, and just like that they are on the move! They have left all they have ever known in the chains of captivity and are going to this incredible Promised Land!
Four days into their eleven day journey, they take a sharp right turn and go north instead of the direct path. Waze immediately began alerting them, Siri was going nuts, and Google Maps starting recalculating before anyone knew what was going on! Many of the control freaks had to immediately begin working their way to the front of the line to inform Moses that he should have stayed straight instead of going right. The complainers began to voice their utter contempt for missing an obvious turn. And the cowards were already begging to turn around and go home because there is so much confusion.
God had another plan. There was a bend in the road to what should have been an obvious route. God was going to extend their 11 day journey into a 13 day journey because there was something around the bend that Israel did not know and could not see. Exodus 13:17-18 states, "..God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people ABOUT..." If Israel would have gone straight, they would have walked into a battle they would not have been prepared to fight. They would have turned around and gone straight back into Egypt and captivity. So God lovingly put a BEND IN THE ROAD. He placed them on a Divine Detour.
So many times in my life, God has not led me on the easy route or on a route that would make the most sense to me. He has placed many bends in the road of life that did not make sense while I was being "recalculated." Now looking back, I see that God was protecting me from myself, others, problems, and things that I could not see! He alone has spiritual 20/20 to see around the bends of life. The detour that I thought was holding me back was really just God holding me up and saving me from greater pain and sorrow. Thank you Lord for the detours that are really Divine Sovereignty!
So here we are today, thrown into a tailspin of detour after detour that we call COVID-19. We can try to be control freaks and take over the situation. We can complain and wish life was the way it used to be. We can be cowards and just wish we could avoid the whole situation. Or we can rest today in our Sovereign God who has obviously placed a Bend In The Road for all of us. Our job today is not to figure out what God is doing. Our job today is to trust where God is leading and follow joyfully on this Divine Detour that He has graciously allowed. We are going to look back at this season soon and I firmly believe we will all be able to say "Thank You Lord for the Bend In The Road." God sees around this corner and He is working things out today for our good and His glory!
This is one of my favorite poems:
The Bend In The Road
by Helen Steiner Rice
Sometimes we come to life's crossroads And we view what we think is the end. But God has a much wider vision And he knows that it's only a bend- The road will go on and get smoother And after we've stopped for a rest, The path that lies hidden beyond us Is often the path that is best. So rest and relax and grow stronger, Let go and let God share your load And have faith in a brighter tomorrow- You've just come to a bend in the road.