It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it

Ever think something should be so ridiculously easy and it surprises you by taking much longer than expected? It’s the project that should only take a few minutes, the meal that is cold in the center, the train that comes at the wrong time when your time management skills have you arriving not a second too late. It’s checking in on social media and being online two hours later when you have a real life to live.

The roundabout way leads to someplace we never expected. It’s a lot like the day trip that lasted 40 years.

Exodus 13:17:

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

Photo by Jing Ang on Unsplash

Moses is on his way to Egypt. Aaron already lives in Egypt, but Aaron goes into the desert to journey with Moses back to Egypt. It’s an itty bitty journey over a tiny peninsula, easily completed in a day, but it takes 40 years.

Why does it have to take so long?

It takes a long time because God knows they may turn around and change their course if they encounter the war on the short way. He takes them the roundabout way. Everyone will log some time in the desert, and it is important to remember that God has not abandoned you. It is seldom quick or easy, but always better. We can learn three things by spending time in the desert.

God is in control

The desert is the place we learn that God is in control, we are not. Despite not being in control we can learn to be glad. Man plans ways of the heart. God plans the steps of the journey. Man can chart the course, and God will insert roundabout ways to grow character on the steps of the journey. Life is uncertain and God is not. God is hope itself.

Strength in weakness


The desert will make you strong if you let it. Suppose you accept the challenge to go where you are sent. What then? Moses asked God the same question in Exodus 3:13–15:

“Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name? Then what shall I tell them?”

God answers, “I am who I am.This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you. The Lord, the God of your fathers— has sent me to you.’”

God is not concerned where his people are going. He is concerned with who they will be when they get there.

You will gain strength on the journey.

Souls are built

When you give thanks in the pain, and in the heartache of the desert your soul is built in a mighty way. You learn to love God for who He is, not for milk and honey. When you find God and can rest in the knowledge that He is in control, you will not go alone.

Moses, at the end of the journey, will not go without God. He will not step into the promised land alone. Will you?

Use the comments to share a roundabout journey in your life.

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