Sometimes we fail to see the signs that show we are headed for a detour. When a detour comes our way, we will surely know it. The dictionary describes a detour as; ‘a long or roundabout route that is taken to avoid something or to visit somewhere along the way.’ Sometimes due to circumstances beyond our control, or occasionally due to our own doing, we find ourselves much like the Israelites wandering around in the wilderness.
Many patriarchs and matriarchs of the faith have taken detours:
- Abraham and Sarah detoured when they decided not to wait on God for a baby and took matters into their own hands (Genesis 16:2).
- Peter detoured when he denied Jesus (Luke 22:54-62).
- David detoured when he committed adultery and tried to cover it up by plotting an innocent man’s murder (2 Samuel 11).
- Moses detoured after killing an Egyptian (Exodus 2:12).
- Aaron detoured when he made the golden calf (Exodus 32).
The list goes on and on. Of course, Israel has detoured many times in history and all those affected by another’s decision are detoured along with them. HOW TO COPE DURING A DETOUR
I would be as bold to say that every person in this world has detoured, whether resulting from their own choice or as a result of another’s. Jonah will always be remembered for his reluctance to carry out God’s plan regarding Nineveh (Jonah 1:1-3). His detour nearly sunk a ship, and all those on the ship suffered for his detour. He ended up in the belly of a sea creature and then finally God had him spat out on shore – right on time. He tried to flee the presence of the Lord but he didn’t count on God being the God of the sea as well as the land.
God will always speak to the sensitive heart in a soft still voice when they wait upon Him patiently. Detours are an opportunity to draw close to God and when this happens, He will share His heart with you. It doesn’t always happen instantly and much patience is required. It seems that when we have an awful amount of unrecognised pride, He will graciously let us come to a place of total surrender and humility.
GOD WILL BRING GOOD FROM DETOURS
Once we are contrite (Psalm 51:17) before our God, we will find that He has already worked out our path to get us back on track. It may be bumpy, it may cost and it will take total commitment to let God take over your life and steer your ship, or sea creature, as it were.
Detours shape and mould us. They refine us by burning away the chaff. They make us more like Jesus and they help us to reflect His light.
He is faithful to turn everything that was meant for evil and turn it into good for those who love Him. Jonah had to realise his error and repent. God had called him to be His servant, and the servant must bow his knee to the Master.
Like Jonah, we need not flee God’s presence, but be still before Him. Be still and know that He is God. He will restore what the cankerworm has stolen (Joel 2:25) and He promises to make a way for you where there looks like there is no way. Victory is certain, even when the path doesn’t look certain. The Lord loves to receive our praise through the detours. This is an outworking of faith.
Abraham and Sarah ended up with their promised son, Isaac.
Peter ended up preaching to thousands upon thousands.
David was honoured and restored to his sovereign position.
Moses led the Israelites with Aaron and the children of Israel entered the Promised Land.
Jonah lost no time and ended up back where he should have been originally.
Detours are sent to save you from much worse. God is good and He will bring His chosen back on track. Beloved, God is well able to do the same for you.
-- By Judah Ayling