COLUMN: Dealing with life’s difficulties

By Laura White - Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Bellville

A few days ago, I overheard some people talking about all of the detours in town. One of those speaking said, “Bellville, you can’t get there from here.” It made me smile and I began to think of how much we all grumble and complain about the small inconveniences’ of life. We will all be thankful for a safer bridge and better roads. However, the inconveniences of the detours between then and now make us grumble. Detours throw off our normal routine. Very few of us appreciate a detour. We like to know where we are going and how we are going to get there. This is true in both our physical and spiritual journeys.

Several years ago, before the invention of the GPS, I was traveling home with my daughter from a baby shower. There had been a large storm earlier that day and half way home we came across a rather large tree across the road. So I turned the car around and tried to make my way home without a map. It only took about twenty minutes to discover that I was completely lost. I panicked. We were in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in Morrow County; on one of those small country roads with a number instead of a name. In my panic, I called my husband who had even less of an idea of where I was than I did. This of course caused frustration on both of our parts. After what seemed like an eternity, I found a road that I knew. I turned around to my, then six-year-old daughter, and said I know where we are! She said, “I knew we would find our way mama. I prayed for God to help.” My beautiful daughter taught me a deep spiritual lesson that day; when confronted with a detour whether it be a physical detour or a spiritual one always pray first and never panic.

This whole situation made me think of the Isrealites that day that they were following Moses fleeing from Pharoah’s army. God used Moses as their GPS and they followed him uncomplaining until the point where there was a big Red Sea in front of them! Listen to their anxiety; Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt?”

Life is comprised of detours. Sometimes they are physical detours which cause us to venture onto unfamiliar paths. Often they are spiritual detours such as the death of a loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of income, or the violence and cynicism in the world around us which cause us to doubt and fear the unknown. There are times in all of our lives when we cry out to God and ask, “Why have you dealt with us this way?”.

But listen to what God says “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward’ Go forward. God is with you. God will help you around the detours in this life. God will show you the way. Do not panic when faced with an obstacle instead pray, seek spiritual guidance from a pastor, fellowship with your church family and go forward with God.

By Laura White

Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Bellville