The Long Way Around

Whew. I love that God’s word is alive and active as it continues to minister to me. If you have been following this blog for a while you know a few things I love is good worship music and a good sermon. This sermon has spoken to my heart so much. Not only is it a good teaching, but the pastor’s story involves her long journey with infertility. I have listened to it 5 or 6 times now and will continue to listen to it, especially on the hard days.

It’s so hard to understand why some people get what we want. You know, those people who tell me, “we looked at each other and got pregnant”. Why are there so many people who have received their ‘instant’ while we have been waiting 3+ years? Why are some people on their second kid who started trying after us? Why do some of my friends already have 3 kids while I am just asking for one? Lord, why?

The reality is that some people get instants and some people have to go the long way around, which is what this whole sermon is about. The good news is there is always purpose in the ‘long way around’. Sometimes God doesn’t change things because He wants to change the way you see things. He wants to teach you. He wants to refine you. He wants to give you strength. He is working on 10,000 things while you are waiting for your 1 thing.

Luke 7:11-17 is a story of a women who gets her instant. As if she hasn’t already lost enough (her husband), now a widow, she is burying her son. But, Jesus gave them an instant miracle. Her son was instantly healed, sat up, and talked. While there are a long list of miracles in the bible, there are also plenty of ‘long way around’ stories in the bible, like the story of Lazarus in John 11. When Lazarus got sick, Martha and Mary told Jesus and asked Him to help. I love Jesus’ response in John 11:4, “when Jesus got the message, he said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.” Seriously – wow.

This will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s son.

Your long way around and my long way around stories are the same as this story in John 11. God will be glorified. When Jesus said this, Lazarus was dead, but He knew what the end result would be – which was His glory. There is a reason He gives some people instants and some people have to go the long way around. God’s perspective and ours are way different. What is most important, is that we give Him ALL glory when we receive what we are waiting for.

As the story goes on, in John 11:15 Jesus says, “You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.” The Lord is giving you, and me, new grounds for believing. Sometimes He let’s our situations, which look like death, hit rock bottom so that our faith can grow. While they thought Lazarus was dead, the Lord was teaching them faith. One version of this verse says, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.” Jesus could be glad, because He knew the outcome. While we can’t see the big picture when we are on the long way around, we can trust that we too can be glad because God will carry us through.

After this verse, Mary and Martha encounter many, like Thomas and others who came to see what the fuss was all about. Because of their long way around journey they met people they would have never met otherwise. That is so true for our story. I think of ALL the women I have met – and it’s just one more reason I am thankful for the long way around. There is someone on your long way around that God is including in your miracle.

If John 11:4 and John 11:15 don’t rock your world, then hopefully John 11:26 will, “and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus challenged Mary and Martha to believe. When we are waiting for something is when faith is built up in us. It’s easy to believe God when you get in an instant, but what about when you have to take the long way around? Do you believe? You might say it, but down in your heart – do you believe? Do you believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He can do?

Look at the path you are on and the company traveling with you. Recognize all the good things He is doing in your life. Let Him teach you while you are on the journey. Let your faith grow. Start believing. You might not get an instant, but there is purpose in the ‘long way around’ journeys. Rejoice over it, don’t resent it. God will choose when to deliver you, but it’s up to you to seek Him while waiting. And, just as John 11:40 says, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

John 11 - In Due Time - Believe

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    Posted at 06:25h, 26 June Reply

    needed this today. it’s not on my time, but His time. he knows what is best for me in my life. i might not get my instant.

  • Dawn
    Posted at 07:24h, 26 June Reply

    Thank you, Caroline! I really needed to hear this today. After waking up, AF a day late, taking the test only to literally have AF show up 30 seconds later, I was a little mad at God until I read this.

  • Cheryl Smith
    Posted at 09:12h, 26 June Reply

    Wow! This has to be my favorite post of yours yet!! I love the thoughts you shared. As we take our “long way around”, we are learning much in this journey. I never thought of it exactly that way. Learning to rejoice while traveling…that is one of the hardest lessons, but I think it comes easier when we stop to think of all of the wonderful people He brings into our lives on our journey, as you said. Had He given us an “instant”, our paths would never have crossed. Had it not taken Kevin and I 12.5 years to receive our miracle, I would never have felt the empathy I do for so many others who are infertile, nor would our lives have intersected. We wouldn’t have this in common, you know? Wow, this is just a wonderful word, Caroline. I want to try to listen to the sermon when I can. Thanks for being such an encouragement to me today…I really, really needed this.

  • Melanie Redd
    Posted at 09:36h, 26 June Reply

    What an honest and sweet post today!

    I am blessed and touched by the things you have shared. I especially love this line, “While we can’t see the big picture when we are on the long way around, we can trust that we too can be glad because God will carry us through.”

    I pray that God will meet your needs and give you your heart’s desire in His perfect timing!

    We are in a long waiting time too, not waiting for a baby but waiting on a heart’s desire. Some days are ok, but some days are really hard.

    Today is one of those days, and your words and the verses you have shared have ministered to my soul!

    Thank you. God is using you right in the midst of your pain!
    And, I’m glad to find your site. I came over on the Faith and Fellowship link.

  • Kara
    Posted at 09:40h, 26 June Reply

    So good friend!! I’m gonna listen to that sermon today!

  • Lauren English
    Posted at 09:56h, 26 June Reply

    I connect with this so much too, even though more with asking for certain things and growth in our marriage. It’s so hard to wait and trust, even when I know that in hindsight I always look back and see the ways I grew and knew the Lord more deeply through those seasons. Here’s praying we can be content IN our long way arounds instead of after we’ve already arrived!

  • Kim Adams Morgan
    Posted at 10:20h, 26 June Reply

    One day we will understand God’s timing on things and it will all make sense. Every once in a while we are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of His glory and how/why He does things in the way that He does; you see the beauty from this. Most times we have to trust that it is there. And we know that it always is…because He is Love and Light.

  • Rene D
    Posted at 10:48h, 26 June Reply

    Isn’t it great when we get to the point where we can trust in God’s timing and wisdom – even when in the physical and carnal world it doesn’t seem possible God is amazing!

  • Rebecca Jo
    Posted at 11:26h, 26 June Reply

    Your faith is astounding & inspiring… I know it gets hard, but that you keep your eye on the one who knows the plans for you, is so teaching to others.

  • Alexis
    Posted at 13:06h, 26 June Reply

    So so good. I love this sermon so much that I’ve listened to it THREE TIMES! And each time I listen I still get teary because it’s full of goodness and truth. The church actually took the sermon down a few weeks ago because they said it was old but reposted it when I emailed and said that people were still needing to hear her message. 🙂 I’m so glad they did and that you wrote about it. We all need some help sometimes seeing God’s purpose in the long way around. Love you friend!

  • Andrea
    Posted at 16:47h, 26 June Reply

    one step at a time – sometimes one minute at a time

  • Ashley
    Posted at 19:45h, 26 June Reply

    YES! So often I have to remind myself of the blessings we have in the small, seemingly unimportant things. It is then that I can remember that God is good, He is faithful, and He is working this hard messy time, for His glory. And every once in a while in the long and the hard, I get a quick glimpse into the glory He is preparing. And oh my, it is beautiful. It is grace. And it is so worth this long hard journey. thank you for sharing your heart.

  • MB
    Posted at 22:15h, 26 June Reply

    The “long way around” journeys are hard. I’m not a huge fan if I’m honest 😛 You’re right though, they glorify God and we have cause to rejoice: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4: 4).

  • becky
    Posted at 23:20h, 26 June Reply

    YESSSS! I personally love our long way around. As time has gone on, I find myself so thankful that we didn’t get our prayers answered instantly. We’ve grown, learned and matured so much taking the long way (or as I like to call it, “the scenic route”) and I am forever grateful for it.

  • Jaclyn
    Posted at 11:56h, 27 June Reply

    Thank You for reminding me of His glory no matter how hard it has, is and will be. I love that although He promises this world will have trouble He has promised that He has has already OVERCOME the world. I like how you challenge us to really search our hearts….this journey has been long and hard but He is still on the throne! I’ve had one of those weeks and this has helped tremendously!!!! Reminds me of a very short intro of a sermon I heard once: “Lazarus is dead and I’m glad”…always bothered me a bit since the person who had it on their phone played it just for that affect and then shut it off and laughed. Reading the rest of that after this whole time makes complete sense. . I, too, am glad!!! To God be the glory for the GREAT things HE and only HE has done – they’re already done, just waiting to get there!!!

  • Lisa
    Posted at 21:15h, 27 June Reply

    Can’t wait to listen to the sermon. Thanks for sharing!

  • Chari
    Posted at 17:03h, 28 June Reply

    There is a testimony in the instant blessings and the ones we have to wait for. So true!

  • Angie
    Posted at 18:52h, 28 June Reply

    Wonderful and much needed post! I think I wrote this on FB, but I’m a chronic long way arounder. Currently infertility with a miscarriage mixed in has really got me down. I need all the messages like this I can get. Thank you!!

  • Judith
    Posted at 21:59h, 28 June Reply

    Such a great post! No matter where we are in life!

  • Cindy
    Posted at 03:25h, 29 June Reply

    Beautiful! Always have Faith, you are right God is leading you to where you need to be and in time he will bless you and your husband.

  • Alicia
    Posted at 10:09h, 29 June Reply

    This is so awesome! I don’t feel like any part of the story Hod is writing for me has been instant, it’s all been the long way around. Apparebtky I’m a slow learner 😉

  • Pary Moppins
    Posted at 11:17h, 29 June Reply

    Everyone is waiting on something even if they receive an instant answer, there’s always another question or situation waiting in the wings. You have such a beautiful way of looking at it.

  • Elle Spann
    Posted at 13:35h, 29 June Reply

    thanks for sharing! It’s hard to talk about stuff like this, but it is always good because it is a form of release, people know how to pray for you, and you can help others you dont even know! Thanks for your bravery and honesty!
    Southern Elle Style

  • Tiffany | A Touch of Grace
    Posted at 10:06h, 30 June Reply

    Yes! I’m learning to love our long way around right now. Like you said, sometimes I just question why. Why is this taking soooo long Lord, but we will see His glory.

  • Kristin C
    Posted at 13:12h, 30 June Reply

    This is excellent! Thank you for such encouraging words 🙂

  • Julia
    Posted at 22:20h, 01 July Reply

    wow. finally had a chance to listen to this message.. so soo true. & even though I would not have chosen our long way around, I can honestly say I am so thankful for it and the way it has helped me be able to touch and reach and empathize with people plus all the things I have learned through it. I just loved the mental image she gave n how perfect it coincides with our story. Makes me want to ‘look for people’ to bless along the way.

  • Laura @ Making Baby Provence
    Posted at 12:06h, 06 July Reply

    I am so excited to hear this sermon, now. I love your entry. It’s absolutely perfect. I’m really trying to focus on being grateful for what God has given us during this wait. Thank you for writing this!

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