Driving down the interstate on my way to work one day and I saw the dreaded “detour” sign. Instantly my stomach sunk because I knew my typical routine was changed. I had so many questions pop into my mind. Is this going to make me late? Am I going to get lost?
Anxiety and fear kicked in because I was on an unfamiliar path. My route is comfortable because I know it like the back of my hand. I know if I leave my house at 5:50am I will be parked at my job at 6:12am. I know that after that one curve I need to stick a little to the right of the lane because there’s a small pothole on the left. And I know where the coffee shop is on my way in case I need to make a stop.
My planned route has been changed into an unknown path through streets I haven’t driven on. All while being guided by orange signs with arrows that are spaced far enough apart that you always start to think, “Did I pass the next sign; did I miss my next instruction?”
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Our lives can be very similar to our commutes. We have our plans and how things should go. We feel safe and comfortable with our daily routines. But God always has a funny way of mixing things up. Life has moments when things are thrown at us and we do not know how we are going to navigate through it.
Our plans have gone out the window and we are now on this detour. I remember that the sign informing me that a detour was about to happened said “Planned detour.” In my anxious all I thought was detour and started to freak out. What I did not think about was that whoever was doing construction on the interstate had planned this detour. The builder of my route knew a few things I did not.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it’s the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21
This temporary detour was necessary for the construction on the interstate to be finished.
In the immediate moment, it may seem like an inconvenience but to the overall plans this detour is necessary. In the long term this detour allows for my daily route to be built properly and safely. There were parts of the roads that needed to be worked on that made the conditions unsafe for traveling. God knows how to get you to where you need to go and he’s going to take you along the route that will allow you to be built up appropriately and safely. He is aware of the conditions of your life and how to navigate you along the correct path.
“The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purpose of his heart through all generations.” – Psalm 33:10-11
The detour was thoughtfully made.
They don’t just randomly pick a few roads and hope that it will get you to where you need to be. The builder takes time to look and find the best route that will get you back onto the interstate or even to your destination. You and your entire life has already been thought out by God. A wise friend once told me “stop fearing the unknown as if God doesn’t know about it.” What seems like a detour for us was always part of the plan. Every detail of your life has been accounted for and God knows the best way to navigate you through them.
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Detours stink. They knock us out of our routine, they make us feel lost, and we feel like we are never going to get to our destination. Something that God has put in my heart lately is that I need to “be interruptible.” I need to be able to adjust to the new detour when its thrown at me unexpectedly and trust that it is all part of his plans. Maybe you’re not where you thought you would in your life at this point.
You pictured that by now you’d be further in your career, or married, or started a family already. While you might not be there yet, know that you are on the path that will get you there. God knows the path you need to go through. On his route we learn and grow as he builds us up before we get to our destination.