The GPS is a marvelous tool, especially for direction-challenged men like myself. I certainly live up to the stereotypes of men not asking for directions when driving to a new location. In this day, it is not uncommon to have GPS access through a car and/or one or more smart devices. Not infrequently, when headed to a new destination, I will have two GPS programs running. While the majority of the time, the routes will match, occasionally there are significant differences. When surveying both routes, I sometimes shake my head in disbelief as I look at the seemingly longer route and mutter, “The GPS must be wrong!” But as is so often the case, the one GPS program found the most efficient route, taking into account issues like traffic congestion and road closures. Sometimes, I am wrong and the GPS is correct.
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle.
Exodus 13:17-18 (ESV)
My experience with the GPS reminds me of my frequent lack of trust in God when He leads me in a direction that I do not think is correct. The Israelites experienced this first hand when God led them out of slavery in Egypt. The route that was the shortest and most direct was bypassed by God who led them into a longer and seemingly roundabout sojourn. Undoubtedly confusing and frustrating to the Israelites at that time, the Bible gives us insight that it was God’s guidance in anticipation of the Israelites fearing the pursuing Egyptians and risk returning to Egypt along an easy route.
A GPS is a useful device and may sometimes surprise with options that seemingly appear to be a less direct route. But when seeking direction in life, only God is always correct. We may be confused and not trust Him when the path He leads us is not the shortest or easiest path, but He will always lead us down the correct one.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.