As I made my way down the street, I came upon a road construction sign. The sign was huge and fluorescent orange; it sure enough got my attention. The words clearly marked: “ROAD CLOSED”. Taking heed to the sign, I momentarily paused trying to decide which direction to take. However, I took a detour to the right and continued to my destination.
Why was the road closed? Was the area flooded due to the heavy rains? Could it have been trees that had fallen and blocked the path? I may never know the reason, but the sign was a sure fact that this road was not meant for me to travel.
In Acts 16:6-7, we are told that “Paul and Silas were traveling and preaching the gospel. When they had gone through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, their plan was to turn west into Asia Province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either”.
As they journeyed to Troas, during the night God revealed to Paul in a vision the correct path for them to follow. Although it is not clear as to why they had to change directions, but this is a good biblical example reminding us that detours are not always bad. Sometimes they are exactly what we need in order to get to the place God wants us to be.
Detours are inevitable, both in our natural and our spiritual lives. We often have a negative view of them because we want to be on our way; we want to get there and proceed with our plans. Detours takes us off our planned route, but God in His infinite wisdom, has the perfect route mapped out for us. At times, it may be confusing and difficult to determine, but it will certainly be for our good. Therefore, we must learn to trust Him, even when we do not know where the detour will take us.
Proverbs 16:9 “The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord shows him what to do”