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  • Writer's picturePastor Jim Stultz

Whippoorwill Detour

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

My brother has a beautiful home that he built in the woods of rural Indiana many years ago. The gravel road down to his home has a couple turns in it. He described to me the day he decided to make his driveway with the turns instead of the easier route straight down the hill. It wasn’t because of the advice of an engineer or the presence of a huge tree. My brother noticed a whippoorwill nest on the ground with eggs in it. He also saw the mother nearby. He was not going to destroy the nest, so he directed his road around it. Years later, he discovered that if he had built the road straight down the hill as he had originally intended, he would have encountered more washouts and increased difficulty getting up the hill. The whippoorwill detour was needed.

Sometimes God brings detours into our lives that serve to benefit us. I think of Moses who was on a fast track to become the deliverer of God’s people from bondage in Egypt. Yet he experienced a detour that lasted 40 years. He had to learn some valuable lessons on the backside of the desert tending sheep. Later God used him greatly to bring Israel out of bondage. The children of Israel could have gone straight into the Promised Land. But because of their rebellion God had to send them on a 40-year detour. Later Joshua brought them into the land.

We make our plans, dream our dreams, and determine the way we think is best for us. But there are times God allows us in His sovereign wisdom to take a detour. These detours may not be pleasant. Often, they are frustrating and painful. It may be some sort of sickness or injury. It perhaps involves delayed dreams or a completely different route. We need to remember that our God is sovereign. He tells us that all things work together for the good of those that love God (Rom. 8:28). Job acknowledged in chapter 23 verse 10: “…He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold”.

Nothing is more beautiful to the ears as the call of the whippoorwill.Listen for the voice of God in your detours.

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