While going for a walk recently at a track in my neighbourhood, I noticed something that hadn’t been there before.
There was now a second path parallel to the old gravel track circling the playing fields. This new footpath had been beaten into the grass over the summer and fall by people wanting to jog while still physically distancing from those on the main path.
It got me thinking how events in our lives often make us forge a new path.
For just about all of us, the coronavirus has diverted our life path onto an unexpected detour. Some of us may have experienced a job loss or had our health impacted. All of us have had our daily routines disrupted and our plans upended.
We’re having to travel a new path, one we’ve never taken before.
But the good news is that God knows which way we should go, and will lead us in the right direction.
When we want to go somewhere in our cars, we pick the route and travel at the pace we choose. We can drive for miles without checking a map or the GPS, because we already know where we’re headed.
But if we encounter a detour, all that changes.
We have to drive more slowly so we can catch sight of the orange detour signs telling us which way to go. Each instruction might only last for a few blocks until we’re given a new direction on the next sign.
Sometimes the path we’re put on looks all wrong. We think, “Really? This street will never get me to the right place.” But we have to trust that the route mapped out for us by the detour signs will still get us to where we want to go.
It’s the same on the road of life.
When our plans are upended and we find ourselves on an unexpected detour, we have to take things a bit more slowly. We have to keep checking in with God to learn where He wants us to go next. He won’t show us the entire route in advance—He wants us to build our faith by relying on Him for each step. We have to trust that His directions are leading us to a good destination, even when things don’t look right to us.
These verses from Isaiah give us some wonderful promises about how God leads His people:
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ ” (Isaiah 30:21 NIV)
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16 NIV)
“But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them.” (Isaiah 26:7 NLT)
No matter what unforeseen path or unwanted detour we find ourselves on, God can show us the right way to go.
His Word is a light that illuminates our path, giving us direction and guidance (Psalm 119:105).
His presence is a beacon that we can aim for, since we’ve never been this way before (Joshua 3:4).
If we seek His will in all we do, He’ll show us which path to take (Proverbs 3:6).
So let’s not be afraid of the detours of life. Our Heavenly Father knows exactly how to get us to the right destination!
© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.