“…and they departed into their own country another way” ~ Matthew 2:12
The wise men from east traveled a long distance to see Jesus. After having seen Jesus, when about to travel back to their countries, God intercepted their travel plans. A significant change had to be done. They had to travel back by another route. Why? Finite as they were, they were totally unaware of how their meeting up with Herod would cause danger to the life of Jesus, for Herod was thinking of killing Jesus. But God who is omniscient (all knowing) warned them in a dream to travel by another route. And in implicit obedience they followed God’s instruction.
God doesn’t work in stereotyped ways. His ways are unique and beyond our understanding. In Psalm 32:8-9 God says, ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you’.
We can chart out our own course and make plans about our lives. But it’s God who directs our steps. And God’s means of guidance can be mysterious, queer, and surprising. There are times when we are guided by God in a different direction, totally new and unfamiliar. Anxiety and restlessness can set in. We wonder ‘is it really the right thing to do?’, ‘am I hearing God right?’. We may feel like doing things our own way, which seems more familiar and comfortable. But when in implicit obedience we trust Him, willingly submitting to the occasioned changes in our plans, it will work out well. One thing is for certain – God will never mislead.
“Dear Jesus, I thank you that you are there to guide me in ways that are for my good. Lord, help me listen and obey even if it means changing my plans. Help me obey You always. Amen.”