God’s Detours

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle. Exodus 13:17-18

I love how God considers our weaknesses when planning our itineraries.

Yo, Gabriel!  Better steer that Cheryl Ricker toward Sam’s Club instead of HyVee down the street.  HyVee has a sale on chocolate and they’re handing out free samples!

“So God led the people around by the desert toward the Red Sea.”

I wouldn’t blame the Israelites for raising their eyebrows and scratching their heads at this logic-defying detour.

But God had a plan.

The Israelites were war-aphobic.  The very sight of the Philistines could have driven God’s people back to jaws of Egypt and slavery, away from God’s promised deliverance!

Has God ever steered you off your path?

I remember my first time driving alone.  It was at night, and off I went down a dark, winding country road with poor visibility.  I had a panic attack, and my body remembered the experience.

Years later, when married, pregnant, and in a new country, I had still only driven a handful of times; and quite honestly, that was all I cared to drive.  Ever.

That’s also when I developed an ugly, itchy rash, and guess what God did?  He used the lesions to get me behind the wheel! Three times a week I had to drive to the opposite end of town for skin treatments.  The world’s best Counselor gave me exposure therapy!

As I reclined in the dentist’s chair today, my hygienist told me her sister-in-law, Sue, was affected by the shootings in Aurora, Colorado.  Sue was all set to drive to the midnight movie, but in the last minute, she got a migraine.  Frustrated, she called her friends and told them she couldn’t make it.

I could share story after story of God’s Divine re-direction.  Like the time my friend, Jane, agreed to go skiing with her friend, Libby, but broke her leg a few days before.  On the way to the hills, Libby got in an accident that left a gaping hole on the passenger side where Jane would have been.

No, we don’t always see it, but God has a plan.

All-loving Father, thank you for being all-knowing.  Please help us trust you, whether we’re led smack in the middle of mayhem, or safely distant from it. 

Please help the victims and families of those struck by these recent atrocities.  These are your dearly loved children, and you break for their broken places.  You ache for their restoration; so envelop them, Lord.

No matter what happens in our lives, may we grow to trust you.  Eternal friend, may we always bless your name and give you praise, honor, and glory!  For ever and ever.  Until we’re  face to face.  Amen!

Song:  Blessed Be Your Name

What About You?

Ever been on a God-directed detour?  We’d love you to share about it in the comment section below.  Thanks!


  1. I had a detour last summer while driving across 4 states to visit a very sick mother. Before I could leave SC, I saw the odometer and couldn’t believe my eyes. I had been at about the mid 30,000’s and suddenly it read over 51,000 miles. I panicked and pulled over and spent a night since garages closed at the time for oil changes. Next morning I got to a Toyota dealer outside Savannah for what I thought was a long overdue oil change. I casually asked them to check my tires.

    Minutes later the technician reported a serious need for new tires as mine were almost bald. I scurried to find my charge card and couldn’t. I knew I didn’t have enough money in my checking account to cover the oil change and the tires. The dealer gave me a break on the cost and I was able to get both. I did some serious weeping over their kindness while in the ladies room.

    I got back in my car to continue the long trip and looked down at the odometer and it read in the mid 30,000’s once again. God made me see it as 51,000+ because He knew I needed tires more than I needed an oil change, but He also knew how diligent I am about changing the oil. He used that instinct in me to get me off the road to get my tires changed.

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