Do you like detours? Here in Manila we know a simple detour can greatly affect our traffic. I know we don’t like detours. I know we don’t like seeing our plans change. But the reality is, there can be detours on the road but at the same time in our lives as well.
I remember a detour that I experienced in life. Only a few people know this, but last 2016 I already wanted to get married. I had a chance to talk to the parents of my girlfriend back then but was advised to wait. They wanted to get to know me more before they give me their approval for marriage. It was a huge detour in my life. At first, I did not understand why. But looking back, I now understand why God had to allow that. God had my best interest in His mind and His perfect timing for me to get married was last November 30, 2017.
Another person that experienced, not just one detour in his life, but a lot of detours is Joseph.
Joseph was a dreamer. He had a dream (Genesis 37:5-8) that he was going to be someone great. His brothers were so jealous of him and they planned to kill him. But instead, they sold him into slavery. This was the first detour in Joseph’s life. Normally, when we experience detours in our life, we grumble and complain against God, but in Joseph’s case, he never did. When he was sold as a slave in the household of Potiphar, he found success. But just when things were now going well (Genesis 39:1-2), another detour came his way. Potiphar’s wife accused him (Genesis 39:17-18) of rape, so Joseph was sent to jail. In jail, Joseph still found success. God’s hand was with him. He was able to interpret the dream of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker. The cupbearer was restored to his office as Joseph interpreted and just as he taught the cupbearer would return the favor by mentioning him (Genesis 40:14) to Pharaoh, the cupbearer forgets him for two more years – another detour.
Despite the multiple detours that Joseph experienced, God was still with him. Pharaoh learned about Joseph who can interpret dreams and made him second in command. And he was used by God to save the very brothers that sold him into slavery. Joseph said in Genesis 50:20:
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
Detours are not really easy to accept. In life, there will be many detours we will experience. But be encouraged that our detours are not accidents. God has a plan and God is always in control. He can turn something evil for good. The best response during detours is to trust God and refrain from grumbling against Him. Everything that he allows is for our good. James 1:16-17 said:
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
Don’t allow your circumstances to dictate the character of God. God is always good. Everything that He allows for our life is for our good because God is good. Be encouraged with the life of Joseph.
Are you experiencing a detour in your life right now? Are your plans not going as planned? What do you think God is teaching you? How do you think should you respond?
I don’t know what you are going through, but I know God knows. Trust Him. When you encounter detours, remember what Joseph said, and comfort your heart with this truth:
YOU MEANT EVIL AGAINST ME, BUT GOD MEAN IT FOR GOOD.