Have you ever known God to walk a straight line? Straight line — the shortest distance between two points. What about the time Jesus sent the disciples ahead of him and they got caught up in a storm? Jesus came to them walking across the water. As soon as he stepped into the boat, they arrived at their destination. Bam. That’s a straight line.
Sort of. If you don’t count the rowing against the wind before Jesus got there. If you don’t count that he could’ve just gone with them to begin with. It’s only a straight line if you squint really hard, and even then, no.
I prefer straight lines, the shortest distance, please. If my husband is going to be the father of many nations, how about if you don’t wait twenty five years to give us a baby and don’t tell us to kill him. If I’m going to possess this Canaan land, don’t send my people to Egypt for four hundred years. If my son is going to be epic, don’t make me spend his first three months fearing for his life. If he’s going to be a leader of God’s people, don’t send him off to be raised by a pagan or a father failure. Just take the shortest, most obvious route.
But God is the God of the curve, the corkscrew, the switchback. It’s in the wide arcs and hairpin turns that we have to hold on. It’s in the backtracking switchbacks that we have to trust he knows the way. And maybe that’s the whole point.
Maybe it isn’t about who we become or what we accomplish. The goals and promises, what we consider the main events, are just a backdrop for the one thing that matters — knowing our Creator.
It’s in our waiting that we know his faithfulness, in our battles, his strength, in our enslavement, his deliverance, in our confusion, his wisdom, in our death, his resurrection. My straight line gets me from point A to B, but God is in the detours.
How have you found God in the detours?