Shortcuts

Life moves so quick.  Like faster than the speed of light quick.  We are always in a hurry to go there or get this done.  

Short cuts are one of my favourite things.

In almost everything I do I take it as a personal challenge to determine a faster, better, more efficient way of getting through my day.  It doesn’t matter if I’m cooking, cleaning, or driving; there is ALWAYS a faster way. 

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We live our lives by clocks, the second hand ticking by and the promise of rest or relaxation dangles like the proverbial carrot in front of our noses as we push harder and race faster.  We race only to find at the end of the day –  at the end of all that has us running ragged and maybe even a little bit scared- we drop from exhaustion.

Friends, let me tell you with certainty, collapsing from exhaustion does not equal rest.  Exhaustion is about living in the left over spaces of our day and rest is entering each day with eyes open to all that God has for us.  Exhaustion beats us ragged and rest is about fully entering into time with an expectancy that goes beyond anything we can schedule.

Plotting the quickest route can often lead to something that we’re not ready for.  Focusing on the fastest possible way often serves to distract us from everything that God has called us to be. 

“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.” – Exodus 13:17 NLT

Whoah!  What???  There was a short way to get to the Promised Land?

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God could have brought the Israelites through Philistine, they could have arrived much sooner to the land of milk and honey however,  God brought them deliberately through the wilderness.  Keep in mind  this intentional jaunt through the desert was before God had them wandering circles in the sand dunes for 40 years because of their stubborn refusal to obey and trust Him.

The bible goes on to say God was worried about what an interaction with the Philistines might do to a nation whose back was already breaking under the heavy weight of oppression.  He was worried if they had to take up arms they would turn around and head back to slavery.  At least in Egypt they knew what they were in for, but a battle with the Philistines, it would be too much.

God knew they needed a break and some rest.  After so many years of working their fingers to the quick God knew they needed time to reconnect with Him.  The Israelites needed to time to reclaim the identity as “Chosen People,” an identity that lay buried beneath the rubble of brick, an identity which leaked out of them with the sweat and blood of their labours.

He had them right where He needed them.  The wilderness is free from distraction, vast and rugged, forcing Moses and God’s people to find their strength in the One who called them, the One who covenanted with them. 

All of that emptiness forces one to either lay down and succumb to a parched existence or it forces one to trust God has you right where he wants you.  It can force you to lay down and wallow in as good it gets or to follow a pillar of cloud by day or fire by night and know every step has been ordained by the One who delivered you. 

So many times we think we enter the wilderness alone and we find ourselves waiting for God.  We wonder where God is in all of these emotions and tears and “not fine” days.

Why not look beside you… He is right there holding your right hand.

“I am holding you by your right hand–I, the LORD your God.  And I say to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I am here to help you.'” Isaiah 41:13 NLT

Sometimes the long way through our day, the most circuitous route are those moments which have us resting in the present, not looking beyond the right now and fretting over what must yet be done.  Sometimes the long way through our day includes some time where the tears fall and the heart aches.

Sometimes the long way through our day is how we can be surprised by the glory and grace of a God who has not only delivered us but redeemed us.

Come.  Hold His hand.  He is with you.

 


7 Comments

  1. Oh, what a great message for me today! The tick of the clock often holds me prisoner. I love this line:” Sometimes the long way through our day, the most circuitous route are those moments which have us resting in the present, not looking beyond the right now and fretting over what must yet be done. ” Such beautifully written truth. Thank you!

  2. Tonya,
    God does sometimes takes us the long way, but the perspective and insight gained is invaluable. Thanks for sharing these thoughts — they speak right to where I am today!

  3. I laugh to remember when I first realized this about Israel, and the short distance to the land. I had always imagined it must be so far away! Thanks for this.

  4. So, so good, friend. Thanks for the reminder and the much-needed words of grace and rest. Grateful for you!

  5. Tonya, your words never disappoint. And I guarantee you that tomorrow I am going to be thinking about that proverbial carrot. 😉 Thank you for sharing your talent!

  6. This is such a comforting and challenging message, especially for me as a “doer.” Thank you for painting rest so beautifully with your words! Dropping by from Coffee for Your Heart:)

  7. Wow! Love this post! 🙂
    Stopping by from Holley’s
    Thank you for the wonderful yet challenging word of encouragement
    Blessings to you

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