I did not find Deliverance on the road by that name. I got lost.
Purgatory, just two roads over off of Union, I would have expected to provide wrong turns and no way out.
But for Deliverance, a name that offered such Hope and Promise, I had other expectations. Instead of connecting me with the trail I was hoping for though, it turned back up the hill I had just run down. And left me feeling even more confused. Ready to quit.
Deliverance took me in the wrong direction. And wasn't the road I wanted after all.
Sometimes we find ourselves on wrongly-named, bumpy roads going in the wrong direction, that feel like Purgatory, wondering how we got there. And how we can get back on the “right” road. To take us to the pain-free, stress-free, ideal life that must be out there somewhere. Right? Is it actually out there?
We recently listened to a sermon by Thomas Thompson called Choosing Joy in Change. He said that “The detours in life can hold new paths to joy.” What is God calling you to in the detours of your life? There's no way we can know all that He is doing behind the scenes.
The detour can become The Road that He has always intended. We just didn't know it. Are we resisting or accepting? Resenting or surrendering? Our response determines whether or not we find joy. God's goal for us is actually not to be pain-free, stress-free, always-getting-everything-we-pray-for. He wants us to be able to choose joy no matter what kind of road we're on.
He wants us to become more like Jesus. The One who walked a hard road of suffering, that no one would have chosen. For the joy set before Him. For us to have true life in Him.
Following Him on the road He chooses.
Running out of gas.
Doubting we're going to end up in a good place.
He is with us. Leading. Strengthening. Providing. Sustaining.
HE is our Deliverance (not the road).
And He uses many different roads to bring us Home. Roads that we would not have chosen.
New paths to joy.