February 1 – The Long Road

The Long Road

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. (Exodus 13:17)

Read: Exodus 13:17-15:18, Matthew 21:23-46, Psalm 26:1-12, Proverbs 6:16-19

Relate:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

React: Two roads diverged for the Israelites upon leaving Egypt. One road was short. It looked easy and well traveled. Even with all their animals, children, and cargo, the entire Hebrew community could have easily made that journey in a couple weeks time, tops. Instead they took the long road. When that road led them to the place where they were stuck between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army, it looked like they made a mistake. When that road led them out into a desert it looked again like they had made a mistake. When they were still traveling that road forty years later it looked like they had definitely taken the wrong road.

What would have happened if they took the short road? Scripture says they went out armed for battle, but also that they were not ready for the fight such a shortcut would have led them to. They needed to experience the Red Sea crossing. They needed a Mount Sinai experience. They had left the Egypt but Egypt (the world) had not yet left them. To do so, Israel needed the long road.

Sometimes I am so focused on my destination that I do not notice all the things I am learning along the journey. I want the short road. I just want to get there like… yesterday. But what great, God moments would I miss if I take that shortcut? Is there a Red Sea crossing along this road I am experiencing? Is there a mountaintop experience ahead I would never find on the shortcut? Although I might not always like it, I am on the long road… and that will make all the difference.

Respond: 

Dear God,
I want to be on the road You lead me down. I want to follow where You are going. That road may not be easy. It may not be comfortable, or short, or well traveled by others. that is OK. As long as You are with me on that road, that is all that matters. Give me the courage to diverge from the road all others seem to travel. Give me the faith to climb higher where the air is rare. Give me the the wisdom to understand that the going is just as important as the arriving.
Amen

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10 thoughts on “February 1 – The Long Road

  1. I love that song. Sometimes I think the road to God’s plan for our lives are as important as the destination itself. Only the right road can show us who we are and change us in the ways we need to be changed

  2. Thanks for a powerful devotion! For me, due to my conviction and salvation and redemption, there is only God’s road (specially designed for me) I must travel. My journey is filled with the abundance of His awesome testimony. #IJN #PTL

  3. Your post, along with Psalm 26, spoke volumes. I shared it with our single moms. Praying it’ll speak to them too. Thanks for allowing the Lord to use your words to convict, soothe, provide, comfort. Amen!

  4. Love this. Thanks for sharing. We in the North America church seem to have subtly fallen prey to the purvasive ‘instant gratification’ ideaolagy of our culture, and allowed it to influance our idea of the effectiveness of our ministries. We (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’) at times falsely assume that instant success is proof God we are walking as God desires.and if we have to wait, he must have not meant us to walk that path. Yet biblically speaking while God may work in an instant, there is usually a lot of waiting. Thanks again.

  5. Patience is difficult to pray for, too. My NA suspense tells of a girl who thought by travelling to GB it would solve everything. In my fiction she got taken in and exploited, though. The warning message here is for students especially, to avoid gangs. So it’s not for the faint hearted but current. Take a look here how faith gets her through her traumatic experience. Please spread the word – viewBook.at/Ebook

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