Exodus 13:17 – 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." (ESV)
We have a multi-cord dryer that hangs over our bath in the bathroom. It has seen better days, and it is now obsolete and fragile. It holds the towels, though, so I am forced to make do and mend it. Its cords come through four large holes in the plastic wall mounting, leaving three unused holes in between each cord. They are strung in two pairs: the outer two (one and thirteen), and the inner two (five and nine).
Are you with me so far? The inner two had broken.
To fix the inner pair I needed to push the string across five holes. This was not possible without some sort of wire implement to add support. Then I realised that I did not need to stretch the string across the five holes in one go. I could do it by bending the string into a hook-shape and then thread it one hole at a time. Five minutes later, and flushed with pride, the string reached the appropriate outlet for the return stretch to the other wall!
It was at this point, as I was standing in the bath, that the following thought came to me:
This was God speaking to me — He is not too proud to meet us in the everyday doings of life.
I had been praying about the many hesitations I had suffered of late (okay, so from God's perspective I was whining). "Why could not life be more flowing, straightforward, easier?" I had asked.
Simple: it was not possible for me to be stretched from point A to point E in one go. I could only manage by being threaded by God through the points in between, as stepping-stones to the end goal.
Like Israel or Paul we are on a journey — and patience and perseverance are required!
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You do not stretch us out beyond what we can stand. Forgive us when we think we know better, or think more highly of ourselves than we ought. Grant us a clearer understanding of what it is to be Your children here, even when we seem to be far from where we expected to be today. Cleanse us through Your love, and enable us to bend to Your plan. Thanks, Lord. Amen.