God was looking out for my safety the day Google Maps was invented. Before I could ask Siri to give me a detailed real time play-by-play of how to get anyplace (kinda) new I was a regular gas-station-direction-beggar. Attendants in too-many states probably still have scratch marks in their countertops from tracing and retracing directions on paper towels for me.
Needless to say, when I ask for the “best route” to get somewhere what I mean is the one Siri will badger me into obeying or the one with the fewest turns, least lanes, and clearest road signs.
This can be a problem in my marriage. My husband defines the “best route” very differently. To him, it’s top-quality if it means he keeps moving. 10 extra turns, 3 more miles, and waving hello to not-our-neighbors in unknown cul-de-sacs is much better, in his opinion, than waiting at 3 traffic lights.
Humble as we are about our definitions of “best,” we aren’t above racing home on our preferred paths to see who gets there first. And we certainly aren’t beyond defending our losses as the fault of the drivers on our choice of road on that particular day, especially at that hour.The “best route,” when it comes to getting anywhere, seems to depend on who is driving. Click To Tweet
With God, this is even more bewildering.
I imagine Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego saw only a dead end when God steered them into the flaming furnace. Jonah was so displeased with God’s direction he pulled a Chinese fire drill- only to end up in the belly of a whale and back on course.
We know the Israelites protested God’s choice of path a number of times, not the least of which was when he drove them to the edge of the sea with an army on their tail. The first time they were brought to enter the Promised Land, they refused. God spent 40 years with them grumbling in the backseat before he turned the car around.
Throughout the Psalms we hear about David’s annoyance, frustration, and desperation as God takes what seems to be detour after dangerous detour. Peter, riding shotgun by Jesus, piped up to redirect when Christ announced the road he intended to travel (death!)
Scripture reads like a roadmap: God’s route winds all over while man tends to assume the most direct or scenic path would be better.
But God’s twisty, steep, rugged routes are purposeful. He has gone before us along them. He has prepared them in advance and established the way. His “that you may” phrases serve as signposts:
God’s routes are chosen to best glorify Him. Ours are picked to best appease ourselves. Click To Tweet
Since God’s glory is also ultimately our good, we do well to trust that wherever He takes us and however we get there, it’s worth it. We aren’t lost. We’re aren’t missing out. We won’t be delayed. What matters most is being accomplished.
Further- God’s route, no matter how treacherous, will bring us safely into His kingdom (2 Tim 4:18.) Paul affirmed that as he awaited execution. His dead end was the driveway to his heavenly home.
For every believer, the same is true.
God’s at the wheel. Every path is purposeful. We’re going to arrive on time. We’re going to get where we need to go safely, no matter what we think of His chosen route.
The question is: will we count God’s way as better than our own?
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