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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: August 17, 2015.

Are you ever frustrated that the thing you want to happen now, isn’t? You wonder, Why doesn’t God answer my prayer? It seems to me that it’s no big deal for Him to do this thing that I want done now, or at least, soon. By next week, at the latest.

  • That relationship
  • That pregnancy
  • That raise
  • That increase in church membership
  • That child to shape up (or maybe ship out!)
  • That health issue to resolve itself

And we pray and pray and we wonder and wonder.

Why God, isn’t this thing going our way in the time frame we’ve decided it needs to go?

And then we read in Exodus 13:17-18 (NLT) —

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God lead them in a round-about way through the wilderness . . .”


Not the shortest route!?

A round-about way through the wilderness!?

God purposely led these fleeing Israelites the round-about way, because he knew that if faced with a battle this early in the journey, they’d be tempted to change their minds and head back to Egypt, their old life, their slave life. And He didn’t want that for them and He knew they didn’t want that for themselves. But, they didn’t know that . . . yet.

So, for this beloved nation, the round-about way it was.

No! No! No! Don’t do it this way for me, God! I want the shortest, quickest, simplest route.

But we really don’t want the shortest route. We don’t want the quickest or simplest way through our prayers. God knows that the shortest route might be the dangerous route, the way of a battle.

(Garth Brooks sings: Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers)

Unanswered prayers – God’s greatest gifts.

We have no idea the path we’d travel if our prayers were answered now. The dangers, the enemies, the battles we’d encounter if God left us to our own devices, our own ways, our own plans. Yikes.

He knows and He knows best, so the round-about way it is.

And a few verses later we read:

The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and He provided light at night with a pillar of fire. (Ex. 13:21, NLT)

The Lord will go ahead of us as we walk and wander through the round-about way. We might murmur and grumble and wonder why we must do it this way, His way, the long way.

And God smiles and laughs and loves us, but the round-about way it is.

So we follow and trust that the One who led His chosen people the round-about way out of the land of Egypt, through the desert and into the promised land, will do the same for us.

We might not like it, we might murmur and grumble, but in the end we can thank God for not answering our faithless, entitled prayers to do it our way, in our timing.

Because, my friends, faced with a battle, we’d lose. Every time.

Thank God today for the route He determines for your life. It is best and right and good.

And remember, He also promises on the round-about way:

See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you. (Ex. 23:20, NLT)

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