To Make a Short Story Long…

To Make a Short Story Long…

Written by Katelyn Foster

If you’ve ever listened to a kindergartener tell a story, you’ve experienced what it means to take the “long way around” to arrive at the final destination. As a mom of a 5-year-old, I am forever amazed at how many rabbit trails he can wander down and still somehow land at his ending. (Well, sometimes!) 

It reminded me of verses in the middle of the grand deliverance story of the children of Israel.  Sandwiched between the massive victories of the miraculous plagues and the parting of the Red Sea, the Israelites found themselves walking through the wilderness, away from the obvious and near path. 

“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 13:17-18, emphasis added)

God knew what the Israelites would face, and He knew what they were equipped to handle. He knew that if He brought them immediately into a place of conflict, they’d turn and run back to their bondage. So He led them away from the obvious path and took them to where they had no choice but to rely on His strength. Completely unaware of what God was shielding them from, the Israelites marched toward a roadblock only their Way-maker could handle: the Red Sea. 

Sometimes God chooses the roundabout way to steer us toward the impassable, instead of the road that is “near”. What feels like walking in circles is actually His way of shielding us. In the middle of the journey ‘about’, it’s easy to question His leading. But God brings us past the places that would destroy us, and leads us to a place where He can display His Sovereign hand- always for His glory.

We can trust God completely. He is sovereign and good, wise and compassionate. He is working behind the scenes on our behalf, leading us toward His glory, capable of providing complete deliverance. Even when we are tempted to complain because it seems like all we’ve done is wander aimlessly, He is our Good Shepherd, and the bird’s eye view is His. 

God brings us past the places that would destroy us, and leads us to a place where He can display His Sovereign hand.

Maybe the next time you are knee-deep in a complicated conversation with a kindergartener, you’ll remember:

  • Sometimes the long way around is the best way. Detours can be divine appointments. 
  • The Master Shepherd has a purpose in every path. There is weight and purpose in everything He does. 
  • Maybe the roundabout way is actually the redemptive way. The “problem” is actually the protection. 

Be confident that God will bring you to His desired end. He is our shield from what we cannot see. 

“And Moses said unto the people…The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:13-14, emphasis added)

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