Sometimes You Have To Take the Extended Route to End Up Where God Wants You

In our fast-paced world where we enjoy many conveniences that bring us results more quickly (like microwaves, cellphones, medicine, washers, dryers, search engines, etc.), it’s easy to get frustrated when people or situations hinder our expected hassle-free path. Nevertheless, if we’re on a journey to a place we desire to be that’s in line with where God wants us to be, we may have to take the lengthier route, but God will see to it that we get there.

We have several examples of this in scripture. One example is the life of David. As a teen, he was anointed by the Lord to be Saul’s successor to rule Israel. But it took many years for that to come to fruition because of Saul’s murderous jealousy toward David. Saul hatched multiple schemes to try to take David’s life and to hold him back. All his plots failed and David ultimately became king after Saul met his demise. Although David had to take the long way to his goal, God was with him through all the dark times.

In those times David was wise enough to learn many lessons that helped make him a good king. David learned how to survive in the wilderness moving place-to-place (1 Samuel 23:13-29). He learned that it was best not to be vengeful against Saul out of respect for Saul’s office and Saul’s initial anointing by the Lord even though he turned out to be corrupt (1 Samuel 24). He learned how to bargain with enemies when he needed help (1 Samuel 27).  He also learned how not to let his anger get the best of him and how to be merciful when he let Abigail talk him out of justifiably killing her wicked husband, Nabal.

In the New Testament, Aquila and Priscilla also had to take an extended route to where God wanted them. In their case, they started out where they knew they should be–in Rome. Claudius Caesar threw a monkey wrench in their plans by kicking all Jews out of Rome (Acts 18). The reason he did that is debated among scholars. They lost their home and business.

Yet, if Claudius had not sent them (involuntarily) on their extended route to their goal, they probably would have been delayed in being introduced to Paul in Corinth, or maybe would never have met him. They ended up not only running their tent-making business with Paul’s help, but also helped him in ministry. Priscilla and Aquila made some missionary trips with Paul and probably witnessed some of the miracles along with some of the harsh persecution. They also got to help teach and train a young Apollos who went on to have his own powerful ministry. After all their personal suffering, sacrifices, and dreams deferred, they ended up back in Rome with a home. God had restored and returned them to where they had desired to be. To top it all off, they had a thriving house church where souls were being changed for the Lord’s glory (Romans 16:3-5).

The longer road some of us may have to take in life in our walk with the Lord can only serve to strengthen us if we are wise enough to take in his lessons along the way.

 

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