God called the Israelites to the long road out of Egypt to the Promised Land. He “…did not lead them on the road through Philistine country, though that was the shortest way.” (Exodus 13:17, NCV)
Why not? I would argue that the long road is … well, long. Shortest is fastest. And fastest best. Right?
A few years ago, Jim and I headed to Fredericksburg for a four-day vacation. Ready for a change in scenery and well-deserved downtime, I hopped in the car and leaned my seat back to relax for the five-hour drive. Anxious to make the long trip shorter, we took the shortest route — a straight line from Dallas along Interstate 35S through Austin.
By Waco and two hours out of Dallas, my once resting body now vibrated with agitation. We dodged orange construction cones, crawled forward in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and narrowly escaped two crashes as fellow travelers drafted the car in front of them within inches of its rear end.
As if that wasn’t enough to shred my nerves, traffic on the outskirts of Austin thickened again and flowed slower than Brer Rabbit molasses that sat too long on a pantry shelf. We reached Fredericksburg tired and tense and one hour later than expected.
The shortest way was not the fastest … nor best. God saw that when He led His people out of Egypt. He avoided Philistine country because “if they have to fight,…they may change their minds and go back to Egypt.” (Exodus 13:18, NCV)
God’s way is the best way, however long it takes. While I hurry to reach my destination, God sees the road ahead. He often steers me away from my short route to avoid obstacles or hazards that await me there. Obstacles and hazards I may not yet be ready or equipped to confront.
Learning our lesson, Jim and I returned home by Highway 281. A scenic route through tiny pin points on the map with stop lights and slower speeds from one edge of town to the next. It was the long road, but we returned home in less time than our short route when going. And more relaxed.
A wise person does the right thing at the right time. For there is a right time and a right way for everything. (Ecclesiastes 8:5-6, NCV)
©2014 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.