Monday, January 28, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Take Up Thy Cross"1 (Lyrics)

Exodus 13:21 – By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. (NIV)

No word holds more weight than the word "detour" to people driving with a 27-foot trailer in tow behind them. Early last fall, we spent a week in Pennsylvania, USA. We have visited this area many times in the past twenty years, but this was our first trip with our travel trailer. On our journey home, we hit detours three times, each time requiring us to turn the trailer completely around and go back the other way. Each detour was a little different in nature, but all required us to manoeuvre the trailer in a smaller space than was required to make this an easy feat. At each detour, each of us had an idea on the best way to manoeuvre the trailer around safely. We talked and shared our ideas, and then, the detour was done. Each detour that day lent itself to an opportunity to pray and thank God for keeping us safe on our journey home. It was, at times, frustrating and even funny, but most of all, it took us off our planned route and added a lot of time to our journey home. Could we have prepared for the detours? Not really. Could we have anticipated the detours? Well, maybe one on such a long trip, but three in the same day?

As I thought about this journey, I realized that in life, we face detours all the time. Some are of our own doing, and some are sent our way. The fact that we discussed what to do points to the value of Christian fellowship and support in our decision-making. Just as we prayed and thanked God for keeping us safe on our journey home, so all of life's emergencies and problems are opportunities to pray and depend on God's guidance. Yes, the detours slowed us down, but life is often so busy that we need to be reminded to slow down and sit in God's presence. Although we had no idea why we had so many detours that added great length to our trip home, we know that in all of life, God knows the way, and He is always in control.

Nahum 1:7 – The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You always have Your sights upon us. Help us daily to show others the road that leads to eternal life in You. Thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross for us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Julie Bowles <>
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    I am learning to appreciate detours. Thanks Julie.

    Thanks for the reminder about God’s caring. Blessings.

    This most wonderful Julie.

    Dear Julie: Thank you for today’s message.
    I agree. Lots of daily obstacles to deal with, but as you say God is watching over all!

    Good one Julie, Thank you.
    It’s long been my belief that although at the time, detours and delays may sometimes make us short tempered, late for something or other, that they are perhaps put in our path to save us or prevent us from some larger, unknown danger.

    Good Morning, Julie:
    Thank you for the devotional on “detours” that can really derail us or keep us focused on God’s purpose for the detour as just another opportunity in a different direction! Bless you for sharing and reminding us that no matter what or where, God is in control!

    Thank you Julie for this very timely message. They are JUST detours…and you’re so right. Another opportunity to stop and ask God to give us strength and patience and to thank Him for all His blessings each day. This was a day I needed to be reminded that in fact, they ARE… just detours.
    Keep writing.

    Good Morning Julie:
    A perfect devotional for many, especially the young and the elderly who so often finding themselves in a detour situation and wonder “what will tomorrow bring.” However, you in your wisdom reminded us “God does care for us and often brings detours in our lives to make things easier and more rewarding for us when we do a bit of maneuvering along the way.
    Thank you once again for a great message.

    Hi Julie,
    Now that is just the kind of devotional I needed this morning with a slight detour ahead for me in connection with a shoulder that is going to need more than a bit of attention. Hopefully I shall be as calm and collected as was your company at the detours. I have never had the fortitude to pull a trailer, in fact my driving is of such a nature that my wife does all the driving…and I do all the praying on journeys.

    Dear Julie,
    Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You always have Your sights upon us. Help us daily to show others the road that leads to eternal life in You. Thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross for us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
    Yes, “Amen.” Your prayer reminded me of Jesus’ promise, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NIV).
    I pray for you for continued guidance in witnessing to our Lord’s grace and goodness through writing devotions. And I pray for safety in your travels.

    Detours are not necessarily problems. They may God’s way of keeping us out of trouble ahead.
    God does work in mysterious ways.

    Thanks for another good one Julie.

    Julie -Your devotional reminds me of when I was a child. When we took a trip in the car, my father would always pray before we left the driveway. This experience has led me to do the same. Yes, He leads us in our way and provides with His careful watch care.
    God bless you.

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