When Sharon approached me about this mother/daughter blogging endeavor, I was excited for the opportunity to share God’s direction and guidance in my husband’s and my life in recent months. Since she started the ball rolling with her initial post about speed bumps and the title ‘Grace through the Bumps’, I decided to follow the theme and compare our story to a head-scratching detour along the journey of life. As you can tell by the title of this particular post, I will bring the story of this journey to an end…thus, the title, ‘The Detour Ends’.
But, before I get to those details, I would like to share how God has continued to ‘work behind the scenes’ (see Sharon’s recent post by the same title) in developing my series.
After I had initiated the head-scratching detour theme in my first two blog posts, our pastor started a series of sermons for the beginning of the year that included a quick survey of the life of Joseph. I quickly noticed that I had several verses highlighted throughout Genesis 39-50.
It was at this point that I recalled our recent ladies’ Bible study through Kelly Minter’s study on Joseph, Finding God Faithful and a recent church-wide Bible study through Tony Evans’ study on the life of Joseph entitled…..(Uh-Oh! What a discovery when I was reminded of this title in my research!)….Detours.
I thought, ‘Great minds think alike!’…Tony Evans and Debbie Christopher?!?! I laughed and smiled at the thought!
Then I had a more sobering thought. God had to take me through TWO life of Joseph Bible studies in less than two years to get me to see that Joseph, too, had a head-scratching journey…and several subsequent detours along the way. HMM??
As I was doing my research to find the title of Tony Evans’ study, I found the following description in my YouVersion search:
“…Dr. Tony Evans uses the epic faith, life, and career of Joseph to teach that God is more interested in your development than your arrival.”
Did you catch that?
“ ...more interested in your development than your arrival!"
God‘s plan to ’grow us’ involves detours! Isn’t the purpose of the highway detour to make the highway better, safer, and more beneficial—-even though it creates temporary inconveniences? The picture of a life detour fits perfectly in so many ways.
I encourage you to check out Genesis 39:2; 39:21, and Acts 7:9-10 for a quick summary of God’s provision and guidance in Joseph’s life. And, last but not least, read Genesis 50:20 where Joseph proclaims that God planned his head-scratching detours for good and used him to save many people. God had a plan for Joseph’s detours. He has a plan for our detours, and He has a plan for YOURS!
Now that our recent detour comes to an end, we may not understand all the ins and outs of His plan just yet but, we can rest assured that it’s a good one!
Throughout the almost 3 year head-scratching detour of our life journey, my heart has been comforted and strengthened by the encouragement found in God’s Word (especially Psalm 55:22), and from the words and actions of dear friends and family. I can assure you from my thankful heart that God has been faithful. He has provided for and sustained us day by day. I can see evidence of growth and development in our lives as the detour comes to an end.
Although I still use the word ‘but’ sometimes in my prayers, I soon learned to add a second ‘but’. “I trust you Lord, but, what about the ‘what ifs’ that remain heavy on my heart? BUT, I know you’ve got those under control as well and will continue to provide….”
As seniors in our early 60s, the job search process wasn’t easy. I eventually retired. But, in the late Fall of 2020, our loving Heavenly Father provided my husband a new job (and, in some ways, a new career!) in the perfect position that He had been preparing him for over the past 2 years. He started on January 4. He loves his job, and we both recognize God’s hand in it all!
God brought us through. The detour is over, and for the moment, we are on a brand new, freshly paved stretch of ‘interstate’.
Although ‘The Road Ahead’ series represented the big picture of our journey, another part of this journey involved my daily ‘walks’ along the garden pathways…and which path-marker to step on next. My next few installments will focus on my thoughts through the daily journey and the encouragement from Scripture that I discovered along the way.
Please see my previous installments for additional context.
Peace through your journey,
(Both Bible studies mentioned above are available through LifeWay.)