daily devotional

Whatever it is you need, God knows, and it’s on the way. Wherever it is you’re supposed to go, God knows, and he is guiding you. The great news is you’re not plopped in the middle of this chaos and expected to figure it out on your own. You’re strategically placed here with a purpose and every step is divinely directed by the all-knowing.

Maybe something happened this week, or even yesterday, that changed your plans and caused a different direction. Perhaps you’re like me and that change of plans and shift in direction was a disappointing one. It’s okay to feel the disappointment. It’s okay to be sad this didn’t all work out the way you imagined. It’s okay to admit you don’t know what will happen next.

Then, you need to know this … it’s completely okay to be hopeful in what happens next. Yes, hopeful after disappointment, and here’s why … whatever just happened serves to guide you where you’re supposed to go to arrive exactly when you’re supposed to get there.

You can hate it and you can fight it, and you can find yourself miserable and exhausted on this journey. Or honey you can trust it and go with it and find yourself intrigued by the unfolding mystery and adventure.

Just because this didn’t work out this time, please don’t stop dreaming. Don’t stop planning. Don’t allow the no’s in life to diminish your search for the yes. Every no is guiding you to a greater yes. Every closed door is an invitation to continue the journey down the hallway of awaiting opportunities.

Someone needs to hear this today, so please listen … you’re not being punished. This isn’t some kind of cruel card you’ve been dealt to see if you will fold and quit the game. You ask God to guide you, right? You ask for his protection, right? You seek his way and his will, right? Well, here it is unfolding and sometimes it’s best disguised as a disappointing turn of events that delays or detours you.

But today you have an invitation in the middle of the disappointment, right here in this detour, right now in this delay, to look around in awe and wonder and search for what God may possibly be doing in the details of your life. There’s something here he wants you to see. There’s something here for you now. There’s an opportunity you almost rushed right by. It’s here … what is it?

One of the greatest lessons we read in scripture is the lesson of disappointments, detours and delays. God guided an entire nation of people into freedom, but it wasn’t a straight shot to destiny, it was a confusing twisted journey through the desert. But God moves with purpose and he guides with our destiny in mind.

We read of God guiding the Israelites out of slavery into freedom in Exodus 13: 17-18 it says “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.”

God knows exactly what he is doing. He is leading you somewhere and it may not be the direct path he wants you on. He may be protecting you from your own human ways by taking you the long way around. God knew the Isralites would change their minds and go back if they faced war, so he instead took them on the longer route right to the Red Sea.

The Red Sea, where they had a date with destiny. Where their impossible would be faced and their God would show up and do the impossible on their behalf. Where the power of the Almighty would cause the sea to stand on it’s ends and create a dry path right through the waters to safety. This is where God was leading them, and it was the long way round.

God has a date with destiny for you too my sister, and that could be exactly why you’re now on the long way round. He’s not punishing you, he’s guiding you. He’s guiding you to greater and bigger things than you imagined, but the way there doesn’t always look like the destination.

We’re on our way to the sunny beautiful lush shores of Southern California, but the way there is straight through some of the harshest desert. If you’ve ever been to Yuma, Arizona in the summer, you know. It will be 120 degrees there today with the most relentless full sun you’ve ever felt. But we have to drive right through it to get to the beauty of the shore. We don’t just get to skip Yuma, we go through it.

Some parts of life feel a whole lot like Yuma. And guess what, we just gotta go through them. They’re not a punishment, they’re just part of the journey.

This morning, I’ve been repeating Proverbs 16:9 to myself:

“In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.”

We have plans, and that’s a beautiful thing. God plants dreams and desires within our heart for a purpose. You should go for it. You should dare to follow those dreams, but on the way there just know the steps are many and God directs each one. It may not be a direct shot to your desired destination, and that is for your absolute benefit. Just as God knew the Israelites would turn back to Egypt if they immediately saw war as they stepped into their new freedom so he took them the long way around, he knows the long way around is sometimes best for you too. Not to punish you, but protect you. Not to discourage you, but bring you to your own date with destiny.

Ahead of you is a date with destiny, and you’re on your way there. A divine encounter with the power of God on full display. It may not be the shortest route that gets you there, and it certainly won’t be the easiest. But my sister, you don’t want to miss what God is working on for you.

Don’t get disappointed in this delay and turn back. Don’t be defeated here on this detour. There’s a purpose in this, and the purpose is not to harm you. THIS IS FOR YOUR GOOD. This is part of the guidance, provision and protection you ask God for. It’s dressed in dark clothes, but it is pure light! It appears as a no, but it is an absolute YES.

Today, I’m thanking God for what appears as a no because I’ve learned on this journey he’s always guiding me to the greater yes. Today, I’m thanking him for closed doors because he has proven to be a good, good Father who is leading his daughter on down the hall to bigger better doors than the one I was just beating on.

I leave you today with two of my favorite translations of Proverbs 16:9. May they speak to your soul on your journey as they do mine.

“Within your heart you can make plans for your future,
but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.” (The Passion)

“We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.” (The Message)