Redeeming the Detours WIC Fall Women’s Retreat October 5-7, 2017
This study is taken from the book I Didn’t Sign Up For This: Navigating Life’s Detours, by Aaron Sharp. If you want more, I’ll point you in the direction of that book. After reading it, it really struck me as appropriate for my life, and I’m hoping it will bless you as well.
When speaking of detours, the author means unexpected events that occur in our lives. Trials. Pain. Agony. Sometimes you know what God is doing in and through the event, but, most often, these things are mysteries. We see many Biblical characters who experience life’s detours: Job, Abraham, Joseph. David expresses the feelings we might have in our own detours:
How long, O Lord?
Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
How do we respond to our life’s detours?
How do we interact with God?
How do we cope?
This study will explore these questions. We won’t be solving our life’s problems, but I hope we will learn how to walk through them in a more beneﬁcial way.
Unmet Expectations (Chapter 1)
I don’t know about you, but I have an idealized view of the Christian life: bad living will yield bad results; good living will yield the Lord’s blessings. When this doesn’t happen, it tends to rock my world. (I really should know better by now, that this idealism is a fallacy. But it is still what I expect to happen. ) So when my expectations are not met, that is the beginning of a detour. I’m thrown oﬀ my bearings because the result is not expected. Aaron Sharp says that often our unexpected detours start with unmet expectations.
Problems with our expectations
1. They are uninformed—they involve the future. Our expectations deal with the future, and the future is the one thing that we know very little about.
2. They are selﬁsh—our expectations revolve around ourselves, but God’s plans do not. We are focused on ourselves, but God is focused on His purposes.
3. They are unmet because we have a false perception of who God really is. He is not only (merely) a God of love. He is not interested primarily in our happiness.
So we must check our expectations. When we are on a detour, we may be focused on how to get back to our plan for our life. But that is probably not what God is interested in for us. We are focused on the end of the journey, but God is concerned about the journey.
What will it take to keep going if we ﬁnd ourselves on an unexpected detour? Especially if it is a long detour?
1. Take time to look for God’s purposes instead of our best interests.
Had I Been Joseph’s Mother
Ruth Bell Graham
Prodigals and Those Who Love Them
Had I been Joseph’s mother
I’d have prayed
protection from his brothers
“God, keep him safe.
He is so young,
so diﬀerent from the others.”
Mercifully, she never knew
there would be slavery
and prison, too.
Had I been Moses’ mother
I’d have wept
to keep my little son:
praying she might forget
the babe drawn from the water
of the Nile.
Had I not kept
him for her
nursing him the while,
was he not mine?
but Pharaoh’s daughter?
Had I been Daniel’s mother
I should have pled
—this Babylonian horde
godless and cruel—
Don’t let him be a captive
Had I been Mary,
Oh, had I been she,
I would have cried
as never mother cried,
“Anything, O God,
Anything . . .
With such prayers importunate
my ﬁnite wisdom would assail
God, how fortunate
We might be asking “Why?” Clearly God allows all things in our lives so He can be gloriﬁed. In addition, our trials equip us to minister to others. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
3 fBlessed be the gGod and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and hGod of all comfort, 4 iwho comforts us in all our aﬄiction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any aﬄiction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in jChrist’s suﬀerings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.1 6 kIf we are aﬄicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same suﬀerings that we suﬀer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you lshare in our suﬀerings, you will also share in our comfort.
2. In the middle of a detour, keep your expectations ﬂexible. James 4:13-15
13 Come now, you who say, s“Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a proﬁt”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For tyou are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, u“If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
Emotions (Chapter 2)
When we are in the midst of a detour, we can get ourselves in trouble if we let our emotions take over. Most often, detours take us places we never expected to go and didn’t want to go. Emotions themselves aren’t bad. But if let run out of control, they can make life much more diﬃcult.
1. Our emotions can cause us to become irrational. You may become afraid that God cannot provide for or protect you. You may feel that God has abandoned you. You feel like God is punishing you. If you are feeling these things, clearly emotions are running the show, not truth.
2. Emotions can be wildly undependable. So many things can aﬀect our emotions: weather, how much sleep we got, hormones, the news.
3. Emotions are cyclical.
So, how do we maintain balance?
1. Take a proper attitude with regard to emotions. Every day we have to sort through a wide variety of emotions. These provide us with information. But we need to interpret this information in light of many factors. Then we discern the best way to react to a situation.
2. We must always compare our emotions to the Word of God. Detours are, by deﬁnition an unexpected part of life’s journey. You ﬁnd yourself in uncharted territory; your surroundings are unfamiliar. God’s word is a ﬁxed point in your life that will be your guide no matter what situation you are in. Our emotions may tell us one thing, but we must believe God’s word.
3. We must share our emotions with trustworthy people. Detours and the accompanying emotions may blindside us. We need an objective—but loving—friend to help keep us on the right track.
Isolation (Chapter 3)
When we end up in a detour in life, we often end up isolated. Sometimes it’s the nature of the detour—physical inﬁrmity. But often we choose to be isolated.
Being alone for a time is not wrong and can be very helpful. Jesus often chose times to be alone and pray. But we need to look at our motives. Are we choosing to be alone to refresh ourselves in God’s presence or are we isolating ourselves? Isolation is unbalanced. It can become habitual. There are several reasons why we might choose isolation:
1. Embarrassment. We feel like we are the only one experiencing this trial.
2. Pain. It’s hard to be around others whose lives seem to be doing ﬁne, or who have the opposite situation we have. (Marriage, fertility, employment, etc)
3. Feelings of failure. Being around others can reinforce feelings of failure and inadequacy and being around “successful” people is hard.
4. Discouragement. Others try to be encouraging, but words can be of little comfort. It’s easier to avoid people than to be around those who are trying to cheer us up.
5. Having no answers. Detours beget questions. The questions may be well-meaning, but it is wearying to have no answers.
God created us to be in relationship—with Him and with others. Without others in our life, we can become defeated and our thinking can become clouded.
1. Isolation is a risk factor for the onset of depression.
2. Isolated people are more fatigued.
3. Isolation can aﬀect a person’s intellectual capabilities.
4. Isolation can shorten a life-span.
While the desire to isolate is a valid emotion, we must realize that our shame at being on a detour has more to do with believing Satan’s lies about us than living a life of faith. When we feel the urge to isolate ourselves, we must be obedient.
A friend of mine found herself on a detour a few years ago and because of embarrassment, isolated herself. It can be especially hard, if your troubles are about an adult child or your husband, because you have to be considerate of their privacy. But this friend found that including a few close friends into her struggle enabled her to be supported and prayed for. And she was amazed that she was not shamed or shunned but loved and supported. She realized that bringing it to light was the beginning of healing. Then she was able to help others in similar situations.
So when we are tempted to isolate ourselves we should:
1. Pray: we should pray regularly, pray for others, pray honestly.
2. Avoid feeling sorry for yourself.
3. Get connected: invest in a quality relationship—it takes work. It takes you being honest and authentic and taking a risk if you don’t already have a friend like this.
The Bible commands us not to neglect meeting together … but encouraging one another … Hebrews 10:25.
These suggestions don’t solve our problem or take us oﬀ the detour. But they do help us survive the detour.
1. Name one expectation in your life that has been unmet?
2. What has dealing with unmet expectations taught you about yourself?
3. What have your unmet expectations taught you about how you view God?
4. What emotions are the hardest for you to keep in check?
5. Under what circumstances is it diﬃcult for you to control your emotions?
6. Are you investing in a relationship with someone you can conﬁde in?
7. Do you struggle with loneliness during detour?
8. What are some speciﬁc steps that you can take to prevent isolation?
Comparison (Chapter 4)
Truly God is good to cIsrael,
to those who are dpure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
3 eFor I was fenvious of the arrogant
when I saw the gprosperity of the wicked.
4 For they have no pangs until death;
their bodies are fat and sleek.
5 They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not hstricken like the rest of mankind.
12 Behold, these are the wicked;
always at ease, they oincrease in riches.
13 All in vain have I pkept my heart clean
and qwashed my hands in innocence.
14 For all the day long I have been hstricken
and rrebuked severy morning.
In this Psalm the author is looking at the wicked & comparing his own bad fortune with the prosperity of the wicked.
It is human nature to compare ourselves with others. It begins as children and pretty much never ends. We either look to people we see as above us and compare ourselves as better or equal. Or we compare ourselves to those we see as below us and feel superior. The advent of social media makes comparisons more prevalent. We look at friends and strangers on Facebook or Instagram and —at least we’re better than them. Or we are discouraged because our lives are so uneventful or boring compared to theirs.
Not all comparisons are bad. We can challenge ourselves to become better at a skill. Competition isn’t all bad. It pushes us to better performance. But all too often we make value judgments of ourselves or others when we compare.
One of the biggest problems of comparison is timing—we focus on the immediate time, forgetting the past and ignoring the fact that there is a future.
Comparison has partial truth problems. When we compare ourselves to others, we most often don’t know enough about others to make a valid comparison. Someone else’s life looks wonderful, perfect. But we don’t know the struggles they have had or currently have … or the problems they will have in the future.
Comparison has a pride problem. We want to look better than others.
The Bible tells us to compare ourselves to Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1
When we compare ourselves to others we pridefully place ourselves over others or we never measure up. We cannot know how God is working in the life of someone else or how He has been working in them. We can only seek to discern how and why God is working in our own lives.
Here’s the end of Psalm 73
But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me ua wearisome task,
17 until I went into vthe sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their wend.
18 Truly you set them in xslippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.
19 How they are destroyed yin a moment,
swept away utterly by zterrors!
20 Like aa dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when byou rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
21 When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was cbrutish and ignorant;
I was like da beast toward you.
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you ehold my right hand.
24 You fguide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will greceive me to glory.
25 hWhom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 iMy ﬂesh and my heart may fail,
but God is jthe strength2 of my heart and my kportion lforever.
27 For behold, those who are mfar from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is nunfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to obe near God;
I have made the Lord GOD my prefuge,
that I may qtell of all your works.
Taking Care of Yourself (Chapter 5)
Often when we are on a detour we struggle and work and push ourselves in the attempt to get it over with. However this most often serves to frustrate us further. Our eﬀorts to get out can make everything worse, kind of like being in quicksand—the more we struggle the deeper in we get. We tell ourselves that God has let this happen so we can learn how to do better or be better. We struggle on our own and become exhausted, worried, and overwhelmed.
We need to ﬁnd the balance between laziness and trying to work ourselves out of our situation. We end up abusing ourselves physically and emotionally. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and we are to care for them. Our detour may be God’s way of forcing us to rest and to take better care of ourselves mentally, spiritually, and physically.
During a detour we should be especially intentional about food and sleep and spiritual disciplines. This is important because we don’t know how long this detour will be. We want it to be short. We think we can struggle through and make it shorter. But the Lord has ordained the struggle and He knows how long it will take. We must care for ourselves so we can weather the journey.
As we care for ourselves, we may ﬁnd that we learn something from God. As we quiet our hearts and minds and lives we can hear and see what the Lord is teaching us in our trial.
Say to yourself, “I have to take care of myself so I can be here better.”
Getting Back to Basics (Chapter 6)
When we are on a detour, we need to retrace our steps. Often this may be the ﬁrst time that we begin to see God’s involvement in our detour. Our detours occur for one of two reasons.
1. Sin or our own foolishness. If this is the case, retracing our steps means to repent—turn away from our sin, seek forgiveness from God and those we’ve hurt and work towards reconciliation.
2. Life. We live in a fallen world. Bad things happen. We suﬀer because others are evil or this world is corrupted by sin. Retracing our steps makes us acknowledge the sovereignty and Father-heart of God. God knows our suﬀerings. He has ordained them. He is with us in them. He is working good for us through them.
We learn through His word how God has worked in the lives of others and can learn from those lessons. As we faithfully read the whole word of God we are less likely to take passages out of context and we see the bigger picture.
As we retrace our steps, we can see how God has worked in our lives in the past to see how He deals with us and has been faithful. Remember those lies from Satan we mentioned
yesterday ? That God couldn’t care for us or didn’t care for us? Looking back can help us remember that He has & does.
This detour may force us to turn to Him, when we are normally pretty self-reliant. What is God trying to accomplish in me through this detour?
A detour is your life making an unexpected, and almost always unwanted turn. Retracing your steps begins the process of realizing that with God, even the most negative of circumstances can have signiﬁcance, both in the present day and eternally. This is important for us to remember because detours can play tricks on us and it’s hard to determine what is true.
1. Do you struggle with comparing yourself to a person or group?
2. How does knowing that Christ is to be the object of our comparison impact how you think about yourself and others?
3. How often do you feel pressure, from others or yourself, to push yourself beyond your limits?
4. Why is it so hard for us to take care of ourselves, particularly on a detour?
5. What does our propensity to neglect ourselves in detours tell us about ourselves?
6. What patterns do you see in your walk with God?
7. Why can it be diﬃcult for those on a detour to read the Bible faithfully?
Reality (Chapter 7)
When we are on a detour, our ability to discern reality can often become compromised. We can be sure of something that is not true, or doubt what is true.
We can come to think that we are indispensable in what God is doing. Sometimes He removes us from a project to teach us that it is His work, not ours.
When we are sidetracked by a detour, our discernment can be clouded by the emotion and frustration we feel at being on the detour. We can forget that God has been near to us in the past, because we don’t feel His nearness now. We can forget that He has always provided for us in the past. So we make changes to get our lives back to normal, forgetting the truth, and often making our lives more diﬃcult.
You’ve all heard of the stress scale. They also found that when someone goes through one of life’s stressful events, they seek to cope by making changes. But those changes tend to add more stress.
Be careful about making big changes when you are on a detour. Sometimes you need to make changes—if the detour is because of sin, for example. But if not, before you make a big change you need to try to maintain a balanced perspective.
1. Retrace your steps—remember where you have come from, strengthen your bond with the Lord.
2. Seek out good advisors.
3. Avoid making major decisions and changes. Making major changes can take our focus oﬀ what God is attempting to do in our lives.
Imperfect Understanding (Chapter 8)
We will never have a perfect understanding of anything in this life. And this especially applies to our detours. But God understands. So His commands and timing in our lives are perfect.
1. God understands where we need to be.
2. God understands who we need to help us.
3. God understands what is coming in our lives.
We can become determined to ﬁnd out the purpose of our detour. And if it isn’t clear we can become disillusioned with God. But hear from the Apostle Paul’s life:
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
7 So fto keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,1 ga thorn was given me in the ﬂesh, ha messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 iThree times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, j“My grace is suﬃcient for you, for kmy power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that lthe power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 mFor the sake of Christ, then, nI am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For owhen I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul learned that God’s grace is bigger than any detour and in our detours when we are weak, God can prove Himself strong.
Sometimes we know the purpose of our detour, or we might discover it in the midst of it, or we might never know. But we must trust our God. There is a purpose. God is working in and through you to make you more like Himself.
What should we do in the meantime:
1. Get back in the game. Don’t let discouragement and frustration permanently sideline you.
2. Find someone you can mentor. We’ve already talked about ﬁnding someone who can mentor you or walk through the detour with you. But don’t be so focused on yourself that you neglect the gift you have of showing a younger person how to walk through hard times.
3. Trust God for an uncertain future. Our lives and detours are never a surprise to God.
What to Do (Chapter 9)
Since we know, in our minds at least, that there is always a purpose in our detour, what should we do?
A detour is one of those times that life has gotten incredibly complicated. In fact, it is because of the complicated nature of detours that, rather than focusing on all of the things that we do not know, we instead need to focus on what we do know. Even though the thought of taking baby steps may be frustrating, we make a great mistake if we ignore them.
1. It’s okay to not know what to do next. We are plagued by pride and don’t want to admit that we do not know what to do. We must let go of the pride and admit that we don’t know what to do in our situation.
2. Keep it simple. We can become so focused on the complex issues we are facing that we ignore simple actions that we know to do—read the Bible, pray, go to church/Bible study, get more sleep, go to the doctor, conﬁde in a friend
3. Small actions can have a big impact. When on a detour you may think that small tasks are too insigniﬁcant to make a diﬀerence. But they can make a diﬀerence in the long run.
Questions for Discussion
1. Are there people who can help you with perspective?
2. Why is it so easy to lose sight of reality in a detour?
3. Even though God never changes, we still struggle to maintain a proper perspective of Him. Why?
4. Do you worry about the future?
5. What is your typical response when you do not know what to do? To whom do you go?
6. What does it tell us about God that He so often allows us to be in circumstances in which we do not know what to do?
Getting a Glimpse of God (Chapter 10)
Often, in the rare times that we get a glimpse of God, it is not what we expected. See Elijah’s experience in 1 Kings 19:11-13.
11 And he said, “Go out and bstand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and ca great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind dan earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a ﬁre, but the LORD was not
in the ﬁre. And after the ﬁre the sound of a low whisper.1 13 And when Elijah heard it, ehe wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
We have a lot of expectations of who God is, but one ultimate lesson of a detour is to show us who God really is. As we walk with God we realize that He really does have our best interest in mind. Learning this helps us to trust God.
Things we can learn about God in the middle of a detour are:
1. God’s timing. It is rarely our timing, and as we go through the detour, we can realize what a good thing that is.
2. God’s purposes. Most of us believe in God’s purposes until things go wrong. At the beginning of our Christian life we may be in tune with God’s purposes. But the switch to focussing on our own plans can be subtle. Detours are a good time to recalibrate and focus on God’s purposes for our lives. We need reminders that we are not in charge of the journey or the destination.
I asked him why?
He said to me,
“Would you not give up a little happiness now to have a deeper, unshakable joy in me in the hereafter?” (Anonymous??). Heb 12:11
“Jesus did not come to remove suﬀering or to explain it away. He came to ﬁll it with His presence.” (Paul Claudel 1868-1955 Quoted in Darkness is My Only Companion)
3. God’s grace. It’s not always easy to believe that God loves us in the middle of a detour. But then we see God’s grace in an amazing way. We would never have seen that but for the detour.
4. God’s sovereignty. One of the most important lessons that God wants to teach us in a detour is that He has been surprised by nothing that surprised us, and He is most deﬁnitely in control. When life is good we lose sight of God’s sovereignty because we seem to have things under control ourselves, and when things are not going our way we lose sight of God’s sovereignty because our vision is clouded with fear and doubt. This is why a detour is the perfect time to get a glimpse of God’s sovereignty. Trusting God’s sovereignty doesn’t mean that life will turn out as we want, but it will always turn out as God desires it for us. Trusting God’s sovereignty can be an act of the will.
5. God’s faithfulness. We feel out of control on detours. But we must choose to believe in God’s faithfulness. The Father will be faithful to His children. No matter how circumstances may make you feel, no matter what doubts may creep into your mind, and no matter how bad things get, you can and must get a glimpse of God’s faithfulness, and without a detour you might not have that opportunity. If you never found yourself in trouble, you would never be able to see God prove Himself faithful and capable in your life. Seeing God’s faithfulness just may be the reason your detour began in the ﬁrst place.
Let’s look at Isaiah 30:18-19
(From Mike Sandberg’s talk to CN staﬀ, Spring 2017)
“Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.”
Why does He wait? He waits for our cry. He delights in our prayers. Our cry to Him highlights our poverty & the magnanimity of God. Urgent prayer compels is to the throne of grace.
We need to pray :
1. So we’ll experience the fullness of joy Jesus promises. “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” – John 16:24
2. So God will be gloriﬁed. “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be gloriﬁed in the Son.” – John 14:13
3. So we won’t go without. “You do not have, because you do not ask.”- James 4:2b
4. So the gospel will succeed. “Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,” – 2 Thessalonians 3:1
5. So we will make things clear. “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.” – Colossians 4:3-4
6. So we won’t remain in fear. “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” – Ephesians 6:18-20
God is a good Father. He waits for our cry.
Redeeming the Detour (Chapter 11)
During the detour we might believe that our life is completely derailed. But if you’ve been through one before, you realize that that’s not true. What is life like after the detour? How do we recover from detours?
Detours are coming. There is nothing that you can do about it. From time to time life throws us curveballs that we are not expecting. And despite the fact that God is in control He may not always feel the need to let you know what His purposes are in allowing the detour to come into your life. You might have some indications as to God’s purposes, or you might not. Finally, at some point life will return to a variation of normal, whatever that is, and even if your life is forever changed, the world will keep turning. When viewed in light of these concepts, we realize that detours are not to be just survived. Rather they are a part of life that matters, that we must prepare for, and that we must deal with when they arrive.
Our philosophy of detours shouldn’t be that of mere survival, but of redemption. It is not failure, or a waste time. You cannot control the detours that God brings into your life. But you
can control your response to them. You can become bitter and disillusioned, or you can become stronger, more faithful, and more in love with your Heavenly Father. This is your choice. Redeeming your detour is coming to the conclusion that, even you do not know why God allowed this to happen you, you can learn and grow from it.
See Joseph’s experience in Genesis 37, 39, 41. And then his ﬁnal response, “7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God.” Genesis 45:7-8a “20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but iGod meant it for good, to bring it about that many people2 should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50:20
God might be changing our destination—new career or life path.
God might be changing who we are—new skills, attitudes, growth.
God might be changing our focus. When you are on a detour you pray like you mean it. You cry out to God because you are desperate for Him. Remain desperate.
God may want you to have scars. You might not want scars. But they help us remember God’s faithfulness in getting us through the detours. They also help us relate to others who have the same situation. You can be there for them. God meant this for good.
Here is some good advice when you’re feeling especially discouraged and distant from God. It’s not easy advice, but it is hardest to do what is right when you don’t feel like it.
Instead of demanding service, serve.
Instead of vying for attention, focus on others.
Instead of looking for your due, honor someone else.
Instead of being sensitive and easily oﬀended, be gentle and forgiving.
Instead of expecting recognition, be humble in spirit.
Instead of wishing for power and inﬂuence, pray for wisdom and discernment.
(Melissa Edgington 10/3/17)
Questions for Discussion
1. How do you feel when God seems distant?
2. Why doesn’t God immediately come to our rescue on detours?
3. What does it tell us about ourselves that it often takes a detour for us to get a glimpse of who God is?
4. Share one Bible verse that declares God’s faithfulness to you?
5. What emotions surface when God allows you to go on a detour?
6. Do you ﬁnd that even years later you wish life would have taken diﬀerent turns?
7. What are some things that God has taught you on detours?