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Week Five | Make the Most of Delays and Detours

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Wealth of the Wilderness Online Biblical Study
Reading Assignment – Ch. 9 & 10
Hebrew Word of the Week – shabbat שַׁבָּת‎
🎙️ Listen to the Audio version 🎧 | Listening Time 9-minutes

When I was in the fifth grade, basketball was the most important thing in my life. One of the biggest events to look forward to as a fifth-grade basketball player was what we called the Superintendent’s Classic.  This was an event that brought fifth-graders from every elementary school to our middle school for a tournament.  

I was looking forward to this for my entire elementary career.  

A few weeks before the tournament I was playing pickup basketball with some of my friends and I rolled my ankle.  I got right back up to play but the moment I stepped down I knew something was wrong.  Every step caused me immense pain.  

After a visit to the Emergency Room, it was confirmed,  I had pretty severely sprained my ankle.  Needless to say, I was devastated.  I was sent home with a compression brace and crutches and instructed to rest, ice, and elevate my ankle.  

Regardless of my diagnosis, I was determined to play in the Superintendent’s tournament.  So, instead of giving my ankle the rest, ice, compression, and elevation it needed, I pushed through the pain, walking on my ankle more and more each day.  

In the end, I played in the tournament, but not without cost.  Even now, nearly 18 years later, that ankle still causes me issues.  

A wound that we don’t actively work to heal never really goes away.

Establishing Healthy Rhythms

Just like with my physical wound, it is the same with mental, emotional, and spiritual wounds.   We must establish and follow healthy rhythms in order to begin the healing process.  

Likewise, in our wilderness seasons, we must establish these rhythms to fully engage in the process of transformation. 

When it came to healing my ankle, the most important directive given to me was to rest,  but instead, I did the exact opposite.  I know that I am not alone in this.  In our Western culture rest is not something we do well.  

Even so, one of the most important rhythms to establish is rest.  On page 108 of Wealth of the Wilderness we learned that in Middle Eastern culture, the day begins once the sun has set.  This means that each day begins with rest.  

When we rest,  we are honoring God by stepping into this gift that he gave us.  

The Hebrew word meaning “sabbath” or “to cease” is shabbat.  On shabbat, Rabbis give directions to rest and abstain from work, but this does not mean that we simply sit idly all day.  Shabbat or sabbath is meant to be for rest and celebration.  

Sabbath is the day when we stop thinking of the price of things and focus instead on the value of things…It’s the day dedicated to the celebration of the things that have value but no price.

rebekah joy, pg. 109 of “wealth of the wilderness”

In Isaiah 58 it tells us that when we honor the sabbath, when we rest in joy, despite what our circumstances may be, we find delight in the work God is doing.

“Keep the Sabbath day holy.  Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.  Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.  Then the Lord will be your delight.  I will give you great honor”
Isaiah 58:13-14, NLT

Make the Most of Delays and Detours

Nothing is more irritating than when I am driving and my expected path has been changed due to a detour.  More than likely I was already running behind and the added detour is just not something I had planned into my schedule.  

When we are faced with a detour it often takes us longer to make it to our destination and even more frustrating is that it may take us in the opposite direction of where we are heading.  

But sometimes, those detours lead us to find something that we may or may not have known we needed.  On a long trip, for example, this detour may lead us right by a rest area, and I can safely say we’ve all been in that type of situation.   

Just like a detour on our physical journeys, the same applies to our spiritual ones.  When we are in our wilderness seasons, it can seem like what we are going through is the furthest thing from what could bring us stronger, more capable faith.   

In the midst of my longest and darkest wilderness season, no one could have made me believe that what I was experiencing was going to make me stronger and closer to God.  However, looking back, every experience, every struggle, every detour helped me go through the spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional transformation that led me to where I am today.  

Delays and detours are well-worn pathways on the road to transformation.”


God’s gift of rest and the detours in our lives all have value if we only take time to recognize it.

Let’s recap…  

1. Establishing healthy rhythms helps lead to transformation during our wilderness seasons. 
2. In Middle Eastern Culture, the day begins with sunset.  Each day begins with rest, a gift from God.
3. Shabbat is the Hebrew word for sabbath or to cease, meant for both rest and celebration.
4. During our wilderness seasons, delays and detours are the well-worn pathways to transformation.
5. God’s gift of rest and the detours in our lives all have value.  We just have to take the time to recognize it.

What are your current rhythms of rest?  In what ways might you be missing what God is trying to show you about Himself because you are so focused on the detours or delays you are facing?

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Wealth of the Wilderness | Rebekah Joy

A 6-week study to develop halakha—Hebrew for “a way of walking and living”—that positions us to inherit the unique riches available in and through wilderness seasons. Ten postures form the framework of Wealth of the Wilderness, each with a relevant Hebrew word as its foundation.

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