by Terry Magness
A friend and I were enjoying a leisurely afternoon breakfast at Village Inn before heading home when I suddenly realized I had forgotten to return a package to The UPS Store. Google Maps showed there was one less than a mile away, but in the opposite direction from where we needed to go. Maps also gave another option in the general direction we desired, but it required a sizeable detour from our route home. My friend chose the second option.
When I pointed out the difference in mileage, she responded, “But that’s in the wrong direction!”
I explained the difference between the two extra miles it would take to drive to the first store and back, and the five to six extra miles it would require driving the detour to the store on our way home.
She didn’t get it. Her focus was on her desired destination. Traveling in the opposite direction of home—though it consumed less time, less car mileage, and less gasoline—simply did not make sense to her, and from her perspective, seemed an imposition.
We have often seen or perhaps experienced this scenario first-hand. Something happens. Life presents us with an unexpected turn of events or change in direction. It seems wrong, possibly ominous, unpleasant, and sometimes downright painful. So, we set our compass and step on the gas, speeding in the direction we have predetermined, only to discover the road we are traveling has endless hills and valleys, blind intersections, road barriers, detours, potholes, and stand-still traffic. Eventually, we discover our wheels are spinning in place and we are going nowhere--and we are not quite sure how we got here.
What if we were to put on the brakes and consider? Does God have a plan for my life? Can He be trusted? Does He really love me?
God’s Word answers these questions in the affirmative--Yes. Yes. And yes!
Jesus said you would have trials in this life, but He has plans that will prepare and equip you to prosper in the journey, that you may arrive at your destination triumphantly. Right?
So then, you might ask, “If He loves me, then where is He in all this?”
A dear friend, Linda Brown, is a Celebrate Recovery leader and Certified Peer Specialist at Burrell Behavioral Health. Her occupation and mission in life is to help souls find healing, deliverance, and redemption.
Linda loves and follows the Lord with her whole heart, but a phone call one morning changed the course of her life. Her daughter, Jessica, the mother of her three grandchildren, died in a tragic auto accident in May 2021. Linda now parents one of those children.
How could she ever imagine this as the right direction for her life? It feels completely counterintuitive and is still unbearably painful at times! Please allow me share what she wrote in her blog on the first anniversary of her daughter’s death:
One year ago today I received the worst phone call of my life. No words can describe it, or the year that has followed. I can say, however, and mean it, that God has shown himself to be loving, good, and faithful through every circumstance of my life, including this one. Christians are not exempt from hard things, because we live on Planet Earth where sin, sickness, and death are. Sometimes there are seasons of grief and deep sorrow, sometimes there are times of anger and questions with no clear answers. Sometimes there are days when you just can’t think about. one. more. thing.
When your life takes an unexpected turn that doesn’t make sense, run to God. Leave your will at the door. Seek His guidance; ask Him for direction. Remember, He knows this road you are traveling. He has designated your route. As Linda does, read His Word and pray every day. Peace and assurance will come that God loves you--that He is good. Look for the beauty He provides in each day, and realize He is working His beauty in you.
God’s Guidance System (GGS) is foolproof and trustworthy. Follow His step-by-step en route instructions to reach your destiny.
Now an ordained AG minister, Terry Magness was once a broken, wounded, angry, and abuse-hardened woman, until God’s redeeming love confronted, delivered, healed, and transformed her life.
In 1995, Terry founded Grace Harbour Ministries, a not-for-profit, Biblically based teaching, prayer, and discipleship ministry to women. Through Biblical counseling, coaching, and mentoring, she helps soul-wounded women come to know God in a personal way, conquer sin, overcome life challenges, and live Spirit-empowered lives. Throughout her global ministry she has witnessed God’s captive-freeing power at work.
Terry has authored two books--Ever Increasing Grace and Azadiah Reynolds: God’s Jamaica Man—and three booklets in her Pocket Scriptures series.
Terry enjoys people, writing, photography, art, nature, and relaxing on the water while fishing with her quick-witted husband, Don, who keeps her laughing. Their amazing children and three priceless granddaughters remind them daily to be ever thankful for God’s wondrous blessings.
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