If you want to accomplish something you set goals. You have a plan. When we want to lose weight we set markers to help guide our progress, then that doughnut comes along. Next the birthday party for a friend with a fantastic cake and goodies. Next, there is the office party, about this time we start to wonder why we even try. Not to mention how sore we are due to our workouts.
"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
We take constant detours, but with each successful good decision we learn a few small lessons. The next birthday party, we eat before we go, or we pack a light healthy snack. At the office party we bring a veggie tray and learn others have the same goals. Now we have friends with common goals who encourage our success. Those long workouts at the gym don't seem as long when we are with friends. We have learned from each trial.
Israel wondered in the wilderness for forty years. Along the way, they learned how to worship, depend on God, and who they were as a people.
This detour taught them their history, religion, and faith.
Detours in our lives will challenge us, but they will also teach us. I try not to live with regret, because I know each decision made me who I am today. I have learned and grown through each mistake, while celebrating every victory. Those victories were all the more sweeter because of the lessons I have learned.
Looking into the future, don't look at trials, disappointments, and tragedies with fear. Look for how God is working. Ask yourself, 'What can I learn from this?' 'How can I become better or stronger?' God is working, especially in what we think are the detours.
We will talk more about how God works through detours in our lives this Wednesday. I look forward to seeing you there!
In His service and yours,