Sometimes it seems like life is one big detour – doesn’t it? We have these “plans”, these ideas of how we’d like our life, year, day to go, and then there it is… the barricade of our plans and that big orange sign blocking our way with an arrow pointing to who knows where – saying DETOUR:It’s inconvenient. Sometimes it’s devastating. It takes us “off track”, one that we may never get back on, or sometimes it just delays us on the route we’re on and we’ll get back to the road eventually.
I hold this verse close to my heart and think of it often during those detours in my life: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Through the actually “life detour”, it can seem unfathomable how God could use THIS for “my good”, especially when tragedy strikes or horrific things happen. My journey is sprinkled with some pretty tragic detours, as I’m sure most are – but you know what? On the other side of things; it’s the pain, the struggles, the trials that make us stronger, strengthen our faith, and gives us a depth of compassionate understanding that we truly couldn’t have otherwise. What a joy for the opportunity to persevere through such poignant life detours, so that we can help and love others when they’re going through the detours of their life.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Sometimes we get warnings of detours coming up, and sometimes they’re sudden and unexpected – but nonetheless, detours can take you to places you weren’t planning on going and on an undiscovered path. But you know what? It just might be even better and more beautiful than your original route!
When we’re on a road detour, we don’t just sit in front of the sign, waiting for the “detour” to be over, we also don’t bust down the barricades and breakthrough that detour… we follow the detour signs and make the best of this “change of route”; perhaps listen to another favorite song, learn a new road, or have yet another opportunity to practice deep breathing and patience if this detour is making us late (sidenote confession: when literal detours make me late (or I get lost), I pretend that God is protecting me from something on the original route, and praise Him – it helps me not have anxiety (or road rage) about the situation)… Anyways, as with life, when things change unexpectantly, we don’t, or we shouldn’t, just sit – stagnantly waiting for the “detour to be over”, nor should we bust through the barricade and pursue as we had planned – that’s unsafe and can be a danger to many.
This coronavirus detour is really a special kind of life detour, as the majority of our world is experiencing it together. Many are on different roads, but we’re all on a similar detour. I pray we all look for the good and enjoy this “change of route”, wherever it is taking you. I pray that we use this time to consider it pure joy – whatever the trails may be, as we continue on our route to be mature and complete.
Let’s continue to persevere through this detour of our life …so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Cor 1:3-4