Sunday, February 8, 2015

Finding the Blessings in Detours

The other night my girls and I were driving home very late from a friends house.  We were on a country road with no other vehicles around and I was driving about 45mph.  Not long into our drive, I noticed a vehicle up ahead with its lights flashing.  The vehicle was on the opposite side of the road with it's headlights facing my direction.  As I neared the vehicle I slowed way down, uncertain of what was going on.  Thank goodness I made that decision to slow down and be cautious because just up ahead a huge tree had fallen and was completely blocking the highway. 

There was absolutely no way of getting around the tree and the ONLY choice I had was to make a U-turn and take a much longer route home.  It wasn't until I was much further down the road that it suddenly hit me...if that truck would not have been there with it's flashing lights warning me of the danger ahead, I would have certainly crashed into that tree.  I don't even want to think of what that could have resulted in. 

The detour definitely delayed things but eventually my 3 very sleepy girls and I made it one piece.  I was thankful I had the option of a detour to get to my destination.  Waiting hours for that roadblock to be removed would have been awful (though I'm sure my friend would have let us stay overnight in that case!)


The book of Genesis tells the most incredible life story of Joseph.  In Genesis 37, Joseph went looking for his brothers, who were out pasturing their sheep, to see how they were doing.  If only there would have been flashing lights or big signs along the way, warning him of the danger ahead.  In the blink of an eye, the course of his life changed.  He was about to take a major detour...or what appeared to be a detour.  He was betrayed by his own brothers and sold into slavery.  He was falsely accused and thrown into prison.  He was a slave when he should have been a free man.  If anyone understood roadblocks, detours, sorrows, and discouraging circumstances, it was Joseph.  

It wasn't until over a decade later that God's amazing plan was revealed.  In Genesis 50:20, when he stood face to face with his brothers, who had betrayed him so many years before, he spoke these words..."You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people."  This detour actually turned out to be one of the most amazing blessings, not only for Joseph, but also for his entire family.  Throughout it all, Joseph remained faithful to the Lord, strong in his convictions, continued to walk in the gifting's God had given him, and had the courage to rise above his circumstances.

What roadblock are you facing in your life?  What unforeseen circumstances have you found yourself in?  What is before you that is causing overwhelming discouragement?  It might feel bigger than life.  You may not be able to see anything else ahead because that darn "tree" is blocking your view.  Do you feel like your life has taken a major detour?   

When we face difficult roadblocks, its natural for our flesh to want to sulk, kick, scream, cry, get bitter, grow angry, blame God, and to remain stuck.  Joseph certainly had every right to respond this way.  But there IS another option...crank the steering wheel and make a U-turn.  And then trust the Lord to navigate you home.  Detours are a major inconvenience but there can be blessings along the way and a plan that unfolds greater than you could imagine.  God has a plan...and it's always for good.

What I love about Joseph is that he did not allow the detour to bring defeat.  His circumstances did NOT define him.  He made the most of a situation that was completely out of his control.  He rose above his hardships. 

"Lord, whatever is before this precious soul, it may be something that came so suddenly and so unexpectedly into their life, it may feel so overwhelming, more than they can handle, and beyond their ability to overcome.  I ask that you would lead them along the path, giving them the strength and endurance for the difficulties they are facing.  Sometimes we just can not escape the pain, we have to walk through it, but you are there every step of the way.  May they put all their trust in you Jesus.  May they cling to you.  And although they may not see or understand your plan in the detour, may one day that plan be made known.  May they also see your blessings along the way.  In Jesus mighty name I pray.  Amen"

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  2. Praise the Lord for keeping you safe! What a testimony you have to see the GOOD in roadblocks and detours.