After I graduated college, my first job was at The Olive Garden.
In case you’ve never worked in a restaurant, y’all, waiting tables is HARD!
However, if you have waited tables, you are familiar with that code that all the servers understood. You know, when you were completely overwhelmed, had more than you could handle and needed help? You didn’t have to stop and explain to the other servers what was going on and how you were feeling.
You simply said, “I’m in the weeds!”
Your fellow servers would automatically rally around you to refill teas, take one of your tables, cash a table out or whatever they could do to help until you could get your head above water. (I think this is great, by the way. Perhaps we should implement this code in non-restaurant life!)
As adults, those weeds are even taller. In fact, sometimes we find ourselves in a full blown WILDERNESS!
We are stressed-out, engulfed by life and questioning HOW we got ourselves into this mess. And sometimes, even when we’ve prayed about a certain situation, we still find ourselves in over our heads! And we question.
“God….WHY am I here?”
“This is NOT what I prayed for.”
“What is going on?”
“Surely, there’s a better way.”
Luckily, we’re not the first people who find ourselves confused by the journey.When Pharoah 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.” So God lead the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle. -Exodus 13:17-18
I believe that God is showing us that the journey is JUST as important as the destination.
God cared about the Israelites. He cared that they were unhappy and oppressed. He wanted to take them to a better place. He wanted them to live in and enjoy The Promised Land that was waiting on them. And if He wanted, He could’ve blinked His eyes and immediately placed them in that land overflowing with milk and honey. After all, that was the destination He had created for them. Surely this was the prayer of the Israelites.
However, God did not immediately place them there.
He didn’t even take them on the most direct route.
He took them on a LOOOONG CUT. All the way around the wilderness and on to the Red Sea.
Oh yeah, they were IN THE WEEDS alright. They were lost. Hungry. Confused. Bitter. Resentful. In fact, they were ready to just go back to Egypt.
Why did God lead them out of Egypt to the desolate wilderness for crying out loud?
To bless them with the experience of seeing His power first-hand. To witness His miracles. To see Him work in amazing ways. To show them how very much He loved them. To reveal to them that He can do absolutely ANYTHING. ANYTHING! Including, rain down manna (bread) from heaven. Even lead them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. And when they found themselves staring impossibly at the raging waters of The Red Sea and panicking because their Egyptian enemies were closing in behind them, He miraculously held back the raging waters and allowed them to cross to safety and let the waters go just in time to drown their enemy!
When things are going along hunky dory, His amazing power can’t be revealed!“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. -Isaiah 55:8-9
The next time you find yourself in the weeds (or wilderness), perhaps you are standing on holy ground.
Maybe, just maybe, He wants to reveal Himself to you in a miraculous way that He couldn’t show you on the short cut.
There is purpose in the weeds.
There is power in the wilderness.
Let’s stop being a people who are so intently focused on the destination that we lose sight of the life-changing experience in the journey!
Perhaps the journey IS the destination.
I know we all love a direct flight. But y’all, God is more interested in the road trip. There are places He wants to take you and people He wants you to meet along the way. He wants to reveal Himself to you in miraculous ways on the journey. Your journey. Let’s trust Him!
What have YOU learned on the journey?
Leave me a comment! I would so love to hear.