This morning, two of my friends and I went on our usual Tuesday morning bike ride, but as we got about 3.5 miles out, one of my friends blew a tire. I raced back to our house to get the truck and my bike tire pump while my two friends started to change her tire. (FYI, I cranked harder than ever and was dripping sweat when I arrived at the house). Although I was happy that this didn’t happen when we were 10 miles out, I was feeling a little bummed on the ride home because I was looking forward to our ride and now it would be cut short because I had an appointment to get to later in the morning. When I returned with the pump my friends had the new tube in and had the tire almost back in place. We pumped it up and all looked good so we decided we would try to ride a little. They would start riding back toward my house and I would drive back, get my bike and ride out to meet them and we would go from there. When we met up, we realized how short on time we were so we altered our route to make it shorter. Oddly enough, at the end of our ride we had only ridden a couple of miles short of what we originally wanted to do, so in all it was a good ride. When circumstances pop up that interfere with our plans, we tend to get a little bent out of shape. Detours are not fun! How many times have you hit a detour sign in a construction zone that you were not anticipating and you got angry because now you will be late getting to where you were going? Usually detours take you out of the way of the direction you were traveling before dumping you back on the road you were suppose to be on, it’s aggravating!
Having had time to really think about this little detour of ours this morning, I realized that this road block and detour may have been put there for a reason. We may never know the why, but it is possible that God had protected us from something that was farther down on our route. There had been an unusual amount of traffic on our route as we started out, so maybe God’s hand shielded us from an erratic, distracted driver. We just don’t know, but that’s the way it is with detours sometimes. When driving, we don’t always know why we have to detour, we don’t always see the obstruction ahead. Some detours, though, may reveal the reason behind it a day, week or years later. Like that road you may have traveled and hit the detour not knowing why. Weeks later you take that road again only to find the detour sign gone and there a few miles down is a nice new bridge. If you had not taken the detour before you would have quickly found out that the bridge was out and that could have been fatal!
In the Bible, Joseph and Esther both hit detour signs in their lives. They both had plans for what their lives would be, but in a blink of an eye, they were on a detour. These detours for both of them were uncomfortable, but in the end, the reason for them was very apparent. For Joseph, he found himself in a position to save a people, including his own family, from a severe famine (Genesis 37-47) and for Esther, she found herself in a position to save an entire race of people from inhalation (Esther 1-10). Both Joseph and Esther experienced a “But God” detour. They thought the path they were on, before God’s detour, would lead them to life happily ever after – BUT GOD! God knew what was before them down the road so He detoured them to save not just them but many. So, next time you hit a road block in life and are detoured, be grateful and keep your eyes open for the big reveal. If one doesn’t come, thank God for his hand of protection; for you may not know what devastating obstacle was in your path.