And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.
When the people of Israel were finally able to leave Egypt and begin their journey toward the promised land, the first stop would be the Red Sea. And to get there, God led them the long way around so that they wouldn’t get discouraged and would be able to keep going where He wanted them to go. Sometimes the easy way is not the best way. Sometimes the shortest and the nearest path through something is not the way we should go. Not only are we spared from something that may harm us, but we grow a lot by having faith to follow God through the wilderness. We learn a lot about God and about ourselves when we take that journey with Him.
God had a very specific path for the people of Israel to take. He had already charted a course for them. And if they would stick to it, they would end up where God intended them to be. But sometimes we can get impatient. Sometimes we grow weary of the long path with seemingly no end in sight. Sometimes we can start to wonder if there may be a better way to go and be tempted to veer off the set path. But if we head to that shortcut, we may find only discouragement and struggle.
So may we simply be willing to trust that where God leads us is the best path to take and trust His reasons for leading us on the path that He does. We can’t see into the future like God can. We can’t know what is around the corner like God does. We don’t always understand why it is best to avoid a different path. But God has our best interest in mind. And though the path may not be easy or as straightforward as we would like, we have to know He will be with us every step of the way.
Life is a journey. Growth is a process. We’re not going to get everywhere we want to go in a short time. And that’s okay, because God has much to teach us along the way. He is molding and shaping us through different challenges. He is strengthening us through various trials. He is moving us from one place to another because there is a purpose for each of those stops on our overall journey. So let’s sit back and enjoy the ride, trusting the one who is driving us exactly where we need to go along the best route we can take to get there.