I was running late for church one Sunday afternoon so I decided to take a cab. In my very broken Korean I asked the driver to take me to Onnuri Gyohway (church), hoping he understood and that I wouldn’t end up in another city. After about 10 minutes, to my relief, I saw my church in the distance. Only… the driver wasn’t stopping, he was driving right past it! I started panicking inside; with each passing second, he was driving farther and farther away from my destination! I wanted to yell out, ‘Stop! My church is right there! Turn around! Where are you going?’ But I had no idea how to say any of that in Korean, so I was forced to remain silent and hope that he knew what he was doing.
Thankfully, he did. It turns out, the driver (who knew the city much better than I did), understood that in order to get to my church, he had to drive past it by several blocks and then backtrack as there were a number of one way streets he needed to maneuver through to reach my church. It all made sense now.
Have you ever felt this way with God? I know I sure have. I’ve seen a dream, a goal, a destination right in front of me, but God seems to be taking me in the exact opposite direction. Perhaps you too, have cried out in exasperation, ‘No, God, this isn’t right! What I want is back there, you’re taking me the wrong way!’
The truth is, God will never lead us in the wrong direction. God knows the exact course of our lives for He is the one who has carefully planned out our days. “Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” Psalm 139:16. God often uses what we perceive to be detours to teach us valuable lessons that we would not have learned otherwise. Lessons about patience, trust, obedience, dependence and faith.
It has been said that God’s answer to our prayers is always one of three things: Yes, Not yet, or I have something much better for you. When we are being led in a direction that we didn’t expect, we must remember that God sees the beginning and the end. He has promised to always walk beside us and lead us along the right path for His Name’s sake (Psalm 23:3). One day, we will be able to look back on the most confusing and challenging experiences and realize, ‘It all makes sense now’. God is Good. He is worthy of our Trust. He is Sovereign, even in the detours.