Welcome to Fruitful Fridays!
As my wife began The Restored Orchard and shared her vision with me, I was excited at the opportunity to support her in her endeavors. One thing that we both agree on is that when a husband and wife can study God’s word together, it brings them closer. With that being said, I jumped at the opportunity to be able to partner with her in spreading the gospel, and from there “Fruitful Fridays” was created. I will be dropping in to share what the Lord gives me. My prayer is that a different perspective will be able to specifically minister to men of God.
I would say I am a pretty mild-mannered person. Not too much really ruffles my feathers or gets under my skin. Traffic, however, is an exception to that rule. I am understanding of an accident blocking the way and slowing down traffic, and I always make sure I say a little prayer for those involved. What I don’t have so much grace for when the accident is on the other side of the highway and my side is just slow because of rubbernecking. The other thing that really frustrates me is construction. It seems as though when you need to get somewhere at a specific time that is when the road work is taking place. It can be the weekend or early morning or late night, it seems as though they are always there when you need to be somewhere. With construction often comes detours. The route that you are familiar with, and was likely the quickest, completely changes and you often end up on back roads. The thing is, when they are working on the road, although it is an inconvenience in the moment, they are working to make the road better for the future. In last week’s Fruitful Friday, I made a statement about how Jesus’ birth paved the way for us to have eternal life, but there was an important detour along that road.
In Matthew 2, we see the story of the Magi coming to meet Jesus for the first time. This is a well know story of how they traveled from the East and came to Jerusalem in search of the newly born King. In doing this, they ended up before King Herod. The news of a “new king” disturbed Herod but he gave them the instructions to go and search for the baby and when they find him to report back so that Herod, himself could go worship the king as well. The Magi, of course, agree and they continue on their journey. When we get down to verses 11 and 12, they have arrived to meet Jesus. They worship him, give him gifts, and prepared to return to their own homes. In verse 12 we see that they were warned in a dream of Herod’s ill intent and as they left, they went home a different way. This showed me just a couple of things.
1. The purpose of their journey got detoured but not deterred. The goal the whole time was to meet and worship Jesus. Within their journey they were given a new assignment by King Herod to continue on their initial journey but to come back when they were done so that he could visit Jesus himself. One of my favorite ministers to listen to says this “We read the bible like Christians instead of how a normal person would read a book.” What he means by this is that we already know the conclusion to the story and because of that, we don’t add the value to the journey. The Magi had no reason to not believe that Herod was going to do anything other than to worship Jesus as well. We know, however, that he had other plans. This being the case, the Magi heard him and continued on their journey with the intentions to return to Jerusalem with word of Jesus’ location.
2. The second thing is that they were sensitive to the divine intervention. The Magi were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, and they left and went a different way to their homes. The Bible doesn’t record a long dialect about why they needed to change directions or show that they were upset about changing directions, they just left and went a different way. How often does our journey change from what we thought I would be? We thought we would have the spouse and the kids and the house by now. Or maybe it was that you would be in your dream job by now. There are so many verses in the Bible about God’s perfect timing, some we probably even know by heart but when it comes to our personal life, we often get impatient or even upset at the detours of life. Now I don’t, for one minute, believe that Herod would have gotten within 10 miles of Jesus, but I do believe that the Magi’s obedience saved their lives. Herod was notoriously evil. He would Kill anybody who he though was a threat to his power. Why then, after the Magi reported back to him would he have not hurt them. They went and worshiped someone who he thought was a threat to his power. Not only that, but they also took expensive gifts that were suited for royalty, not (what seemed to be) a poor family with a young child. I believe that being sensitive to the changes that happens in your life will set you up to be blessed and even set you up to be a blessing to others.
So the next time that you are traveling and you hit that detour, before you get upset, be reminded that the road is being made better for your future.