Destiny??? Initial hesitations were laid to rest as I read Detours by acclaimed speaker and author Tony Evans. Was it a path-to-get-my-dreams-fulfilled book? Would it just gloss over my pain in waiting with rosy-colored glasses and balloon-puffed promises? Yet, Evans reminds us that our destiny is our good, God’s glory, and for his kingdom. Our destiny is bigger than us. Detours and waiting, things we all confront leading to deep questions, doubts, frustrations, fears, bitterness, anger, or hope, character. Evans offers encouragement and patterns, principles, and teaching that can help us see the God who “behind the frowning providence, he hides a smiling face” (William Cowper, “God Moves in Mysterious Ways”).
How to describe Detours? An easy read, artfully weaving in the story of Joseph to our lives and our waiting periods.
Concrete. Illustrations, stories, and anecdotes make the principles and teaching concrete and easy to grasp.
Inspiring. There were points I turned into prayers for myself—to not be distracted, to let me learn from the detours, to wait well.
Encouraging. Evans fleshes out encouragement to hang in there, to wait on God.
Practical. How do we wait well? What signs are there that God is working? What can we look for? What is God doing?
God pointing. Evans keeps an appropriate balance between our aligning ourselves with God’s purposes (our obedience out of faith, our working out our salvation so to speak, our freedom) and God’s providence (his sovereignty, his timing, his work in us). Evans allows God to define “good” and shows how God’s providence changes our perspective on our problems.
Everyday. Evans also instills meaning in the everydayness of waiting. Right now is part of God’s plan for you. No matter what that everyday looks like.
I would have liked to see deeper probing into some of the dark questions that surface after years of waiting (my thirteen years of waiting has brought many questions). Also, a deeper gospel-focus. Evans rightly points to the core of the issue—we can get through with God’s presence. Knowing his providence is behind all events is key to the right perspective and key to getting through. But can we trust this God? Can we trust he is with us? Can we trust he is truly working for our good? Paul points to the gospel to answer these—if God is for us, if he gave his own Son, how can we not trust him to give good (Rom. 8:31-32)? If God sent his own Son, how can anything separate us from his love? (Rom. 8:35-39). The Spirit of Jesus himself intercedes for us in our struggles in this groaning world as we wait (Rom. 8:21-27). It is the riches of the gospel that anchor us to know that God will truly work out all things for our good (Rom. 8:28). It is the gospel that reveals how trustworthy our God is, even in the darkest day of the cross.
Read my blog reflections about this book: http://astonescry.blogspot.com/2017/01/review-detours-by-tony-evans.html
Disclosure: I received this book free from B&H Publishing through the B&H/Lifeway Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.