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Friday, 22 June 2012

Déviation (Detour).

In just two weeks (D.V.), my wife and I will be in France! :-)  As usual, we expect to cover quite a few (thousand!) miles, and see many sights, but one sight we are almost guaranteed to see is the sign that announces a Déviation.

It's a common sign, I suspect, in every country; and we don't like to see it.  Perhaps we've been making good time towards our next stop.  We're looking forward to getting the 'van set up early, and enjoying a pleasant and relaxing evening.  Déviation!  Suddenly, whether we like it, or not, we must leave our planned route, and take an alternative one - that looks less than inviting!

However, sometimes we discover that the alternative route is very enjoyable.  It may take us through areas that are more beautiful than if we had continued on the main road and, of course, if we follow the signs, we will eventually return to the original route.

Life can be like that as well!  Certainly, those of us who are disciples of Jesus know that we must sometimes take a seemingly unpleasant detour - even when engaged in the Lord's work!  All appeared to be going reasonably well in the early church, when the Lord permitted Stephen to be martyred (Acts 7:54-60), and an outbreak of persecution followed (Acts 8:1).  It would seem likely that many of the believers couldn't understand why!  However, we know that the déviation that the Lord made them take at that time aided the spread of the Gospel!  The scattering of the disciples carried the Good News to new areas.

So, the next time you read/hear of an apparent tragedy in a missionary situation, or in a church, or wherever, remember that such a déviation may, through the Lord's providence, be used to eventually bring great blessing to others.

On an even more personal basis, the Lord may permit an illness, or a handicap, or a redundancy, or a bereavement, to enter our lives.  We may not like the particular turn of events but, if we trust Him, the detour may bring great blessing, and spiritual enrichment.

Don't treat God's Déviation signs with moans, or expressions of distrust, but with hope and expectation!  He is still "working His purpose out, as year succeedeth year".

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