Week 4 Wednesday - Northshore.Church

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Week 4: Wednesday

Lent Reflections

The Long Road

“Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
-Robert Frost, ‘The Road Not Taken’

“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. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.”
-Exodus 13:17-18

I remember hearing Robert Frost’s poem as a freshman in high school and thinking nothing of it. But as I’ve slowed down and taken a look back over the “wilderness” seasons of my life, it has become much clearer that this poem parallels the wisdom of God in Exodus 13.
We live in a fast-paced culture that tells us the destination is of more value than the journey. But what we see in both the poem and the passage from Exodus is that God is just as present and intentional in the journey as He is in the destination. In fact, He uses the journey as a way of shaping us.
God is not rushing the Israelites to the Promised Land because He knows them deeply; better than they know themselves. He knows what they need, He knows their limitations, and He is patient with them.

I’m sure they were confused as to why God didn’t just take them the shortest route; after all, He knew the destination! He promised it to them! As we continue reading, we see that in this longer route the Israelites experience more questioning, more doubting, and more fear, but they also experience the incredible provision of God through the parting of the Red Sea. Had they gone directly to the Promised Land, they would have missed an opportunity to see God’s incredible love toward them. They would have missed the opportunity to be shaped by the journey. They learned things they couldn’t learn at the destination.
Today, we can trust that the longer route in the company of Jesus will be just as rich as the destination. God is just as present and intentional through our seasons in the wilderness as he was with the Israelites.

To Reflect
1. How has God had me on the “longer road?”
2. What has God shown me through the longer road that I wouldn’t have learned without the journey?
3. What questions, doubts, and fears do you have about the journey? How does knowing Jesus is with me, speak to these concerns?
4. Which promises from God comfort me on this journey?
5. Listen to “Defender” by Jesus Culture.
6. Offer prayer and thanksgiving to God on your road.

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