My family likes to take day trips, although we don't do it very often now that life has gotten busier. We would get up on a Saturday morning and decide where we wanted to go. Sometimes it would be to the Omaha Zoo, a three hour drive up to Nebraska. On the way up there, we would stick to the interstate and take the most direct route. But on the way home, we would sometimes take back roads. This would be a more scenic drive, but it would take longer to get home. Sometimes we just like to take the long way around.
The Israelites also took the long way around. They spent 40 years on a journey from Egypt to Canaan, that should have only taken 11 days. But they weren't wandering around because they wanted to see the views. No, God had them take the long way around because of the condition of their hearts. It took 40 years to prepare them to live in obedience to God once they arrived.
My husband just recently assumed the role of pastor at the church we have been attending for 11 years. Everything just seemed to happen so quickly, but really it was a long time coming. You see, my husband has felt the call of God on his life for a long time. Several years ago, he began to pursue this calling. We met with our pastor and talked to him about the possibilities. My husband then began taking some classes to get credentialed through the Assemblies of God. I was not excited about this at all. I didn't marry a pastor and I didn't think I was called to be a pastor's wife. My husband completed a few classes, but didn't pursue it anymore.
It took 8 years to get from there to where we are now. This time around, my heart is fully on board. I have no doubt that this is what my husband is supposed to be doing. Shortly after we made the decision to accept this role, my husband was praying and God revealed something to him. God told my husband that He hadn't been waiting for him to be ready. God had been waiting for me to be ready. It was the condition of my heart that stood in the way.
Now I understand that sometimes God gives us a promise that takes a long time to be fulfilled. God promised Abraham that he would have a son. How long did he have to wait before Isaac was born? And God told Abraham that the land of Canaan would belong to his descendants, but Israel was in Egypt for 400 years before they started towards that promise. I understand that God's timing is different from ours. But sometimes our promise is delayed due to us; the condition of our hearts. God didn't intend for the Israelites to stay in the desert 40 years; that wasn't God's waiting period, it was theirs.
What about you? Has God called you to something that has been delayed because of your stubbornness?
Are you taking the long way around on your journey?