Several years ago, my cell phone rang while John and I were out on a Saturday night date. Maggie, driving home to MN from Colorado, was on the other end of the line.
“Mom, I think I took a detour and I’m in the wrong state. Can you talk me in?”
Note, that was “wrong STATE”, not “wrong road” or “wrong town”. She had gotten WAY off track before asking for help and being willing to turn around.
This was before the days of the nice British woman with the soothing voice on your GPS saying “Recalculating…Make a U-turn at the next available intersection. Return to route.”
We all take wrong turns and get off-course. Sometimes those wrong turns have huge consequences that leave us wandering in the wilderness for a season. Other times, we do a course correction and get back on track quickly, thankful for grace and the company of other lost-and-found companions along the way.
Peter took a detour that he thought was fatal, but he was wrong.
Failure is never fatal in the economy of God.
When Jesus was in his darkest moments, when He most needed a friend, Peter bailed on Him. This disciple who was a close friend, acted like an enemy. He took a detour from faithfulness, and went the road of self-preservation.
In saving himself, he lost himself, as is always the case.
In shame, he ran and “hid” in his old self – fishing for fish. But…
There is no detour you can take where God can’t find and restore you.
Jesus meets Peter where he is (John 21) and He asks a simple question, “Do you love me?”
Jesus reaches out and says, “Recalculate your route. Come back with me. It’s ok. I’ll show you the way.”
My brother, David, who I’ve written about here, crossed the finish line of faith on Saturday and is now face to face with Jesus. He was a remarkable, godly man. He was also broken and he messed up like all of us (after all, he did pull off the tail to my stuffed mouse when we were kids!) But what he wanted more than anything was for everyone to know that through Jesus, God is the God of bazillionty chances. He desires to be the leader and forgiver of our life if we just turn to him.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Where has a detour taken you today or in the past?
- To numbing substance abuse?
- To unhealthy relationships?
- To spending too much money or eating too much food, or doing too much work?
- Running from God instead of toward Him?
There’s always a way back. If you’ve taken a detour, what’s the first step you need to take to get back on track?
- Telling the truth?
- Asking forgiveness?
- Seeking help from someone else who’s been where you are?
- Putting in some “guardrails” to help you stay on course?
Read Luke 15. List all the things you note about God’s character regarding those who get lost.
What has your experience been with detours and getting back on track?