Have you ever been driving down the freeway enjoying the sunshine, maybe your favorite song is on the radio, and then traffic starts to slow down? The next thing you know you have come to a complete standstill and your traffic app is telling you to take a detour, but you can't decide if you would rather sit in the traffic or take a chance on the detour. You are safe on the freeway. You know the way and you aren't in that big of a hurry to get where you are going, but you know the detour is the smart move and you do have obligations at your destination.
You decide to be listen to the traffic app and take the detour, only to find the way it's taking you is difficult and stressful. You are stressed to the max now. Anxiety level is at its highest and panic mode is getting ready to set in because now you are in unfamiliar territory. After what seems like forever you reach your destination. As you share the details of your journey, you reflect on the emotions you experienced on this detour, yet suddenly you start to see the beauty that surrounded you during the detour that you didn't see as you were driving through it.
Sound more familiar than you would like to admit? We encounter detours in our lives more times than we are comfortable with, but do we sit still where we are comfortable or do we take the detour? The detour is unknown and could be quite stressful, yet the detour can have beauty too.
When we are obedient to God we tend to encounter detours in our lives that help us to grow and be refined, but we must be willing to take them in order to grow. I experienced a recent detour and I can say without a doubt it was one of the most difficult detours I have had in a while, but one of the most rewarding. When we are walking through a detour it usually means we didn't choose this path in our lives.
Google defines a detour as a long or roundabout route that is taken to avoid something or to visit somewhere along the way. My detour seems like a long route and it was truly taken to avoid something painful, but God had other intentions:) He used my detour to help refine me and remove my insecurities and self-doubt. I didn't even realize these impurities existed because I was avoiding the detour at all cost.
I sit back now and smile at how God maneuvered my detour. I went willingly but didn't realize it was a detour until I was smack in the middle of it. Yet through the process, I was able to self-reflect and spend countless hours talking to God about what He needed me to see. I was stressed beyond belief, felt some days were too difficult to bear and felt anxiety closing in on me. Day after day God revealed Himself in the scripture, devotions, sermons, and my prayer warriors. I stumbled many days, doubted His plan was the best, and honestly wanted to turn around and go back to where I was before the detour entered my life. That was NOT God's plan and he patiently waited on me to listen to Him.
I sat at a women's gathering recently listening to our speaker tell us to concentrate on now, not what we fully don't know about now, but just concentrate on now. Another words, don't question everything, just live in the moment. We have to praise God in the middle of our brokenness and then we witness the power of God when we are in the valley. God is not waiting in our strength, He's waiting on our surrender. I learned I had to surrender and stand firm in Him, not in my knowledge, but trusting His. I learned we can't go back because then we make things worse.
Detours usually aren't planned and even when they are the process isn't always easy, pretty, or admirable, yet when we step back and reflect on the view we realize the lessons were priceless. Just like the Bible speaks of the process of refining gold, God uses detours to refine us just like the gold. The process is difficult and painful but the impurities are skimmed off and we are purer in Him.
Don't avoid the detour, it might just be God's way of helping you skim off more impurities:) Praying for you my friend. Don't give up on God and don't think he's left you stranded on the side of the road. He is driving:) Just sit back and let Him guide you on the path. I promise the difficulty and pain will be worth it if you trust in Him one day you will know the full story.
"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV
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