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“A Roundabout Way”

“…God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory,

even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said,

‘If the people are faced with battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’

So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea…”

Exodus 13:17-18

Ever feel like you’re going around in circles? Life can be frustrating when it seems to stand still; you’re putting forth effort but going nowhere. The Israelites must have felt that way early in their desert journey when they realized what direction they were headed. What? We are not traveling on the shortest path! Doesn’t God know there’s a main road to Canaan? THAT is the road other people take. God, what’s up with this off the beaten track?

But, as we see in the above verses, God had a reason. God knew what battles lay ahead on the main, well-beaten path. God knew His people’s hearts and did not want them to become discouraged! The roundabout way through the wilderness was God’s protecting, loving choice.

Just because we don’t understand the path God has directed us to take, that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong path. A roundabout path to our goal may not make sense to us, but it does to the One who created it. Remember, this God who loves us, is also our Good Shepherd who has the entire atlas at His disposal. We can trust that He who sees all, knows the best way through every wilderness of our lives, even if it’s a roundabout way!


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