Recently, we took a trip to Louisiana to visit grandparents for Christmas, along the way while following our phone maps, we decided to hop off the interstate so we could avoid some traffic. We were traveling in separate cars with our cousin and he informed us we needed to find a different route because a semi had turned it’s contents out in the middle of the highway and cars were backing up for miles.
We quickly found what we thought was a good plan B and started going a bit out of the way but hoping to save time in the long run.
We were surprised that the route seemed to drag on forever and we finally made it there 4 hours later than expected, granted, we took many stops because we had a full car, a baby and a dog!
Much like physical road trips, our journeys in life can prompt us to try to find a shortcut, but the trouble with shortcuts is they’re often not as helpful as we’d hoped.
Maybe they do turn out okay, but may come with later repercussions when we realize we have cultivated laziness, impatience or attitudes of instant gratification.
Looking for shortcuts can creep into any area of our lives but sometimes there are important lessons that need to be learned the long way around. If we could see the big picture from God’s perspective, we might better understand that the inconveniences, obstacles, trials and times of waiting are necessary for our spiritual journey to becoming who He wants us to be.
God could’ve taken the Israelites through the “shortcut” to the promised land. But He knew they needed to learn valuable lessons about dependence and trust in Him and His might and provision.
Trying to shortcut the way through the deserts and battles that need to be faced one by one can result in putting our trust in our own might. The time or situation that we may view as “wasted” or “too difficult” that we would hope to bypass might be exactly the tool God wants to use for our growth.
This can come in many forms, and for us, we have recognized that our journey for a strong marriage, solid relationships, financial discipline, spiritual maturity, future dreams and so much more has required dependence on God’s grace and leading through His Word and not trying to short cut our own way.
As we start a new year, we hope to stick to God's map plan and seek His heart for every direction we should take. It is all too easy to find a short cut around obstacles or painful situations, but when we realize who our Guide is and trust His heart more fully, we can know that He will be glorified and we will grow along the journey!
As I think about what God’s Word says concerning the idea of patience and perseverance through the journey, there is a constant theme that cannot be ignored!
Please take a moment to read these verses and may you be encouraged and inspired that God is doing a good work in you. Don't give up persevering through your situation, keep your faith unwavering in the Lord and may your attitude be JOY in the journey.