Walking in Circles

A wiser woman once told me that, much like the children of Israel, God sometimes leads us in circles. We learn and relearn life’s lessons as we walk through similar circumstances again and again.

If you look at the geography, there wasn’t much room for the children of Israel to wander in the wilderness. Instead they trod the same paths over and over again for forty years. And amidst those circular trails, they learned dependence, obedience, and trust.

I’m not suggesting that the circular seasons of life are punishment. Israel wandered in the wilderness because of their disobedience and unbelief.

But I also know that God disciplines those he loves (Hebrews 12:5–11). And if I’m honest, I’m more like the children of Israel than I wish to admit. Like them, I need the circular paths to teach me humility, deepen my dependence, and forge my trust.

Lately I’ve been circling back to some lessons from my early years of marriage. Health issues sapped my strength. Financial stress kept me up at night. Discouragement hung thick upon my soul as I struggled to make sense of the difficulties we faced. I wondered when—and if—that difficult season would ever end.

Fast forward a few years, and I find myself in much the same place. Health issues, coupled with the exhaustion of being a first-time mom, steal my energy. Sleepless nights don’t seem to end. New worries replace the old ones and discouragement dampens my hope. Again I wonder, will the hard parts of this season ever end?

Slowly I’m learning to find comfort in the cycles. Amidst the circles, I can see God working. He’s changing me even if my circumstances appear the same as the day before. The darkness lifts as I see the light, not from better, easier days, but from his guiding presence.

There’s peace in knowing you’re being guided. Even if you’re walking through the dessert, that pillar cloud, that sense of God’s Spirit with you, brings comfort.

Today, if you find yourself revisiting old lessons and returning to places where you never wanted to go back, take heart. The circles drive God’s grace deep within us. They show us his goodness in the most unexpected spaces. They teach us to look and long for the ultimate promise land.

So let’s keep walking, trusting that the God who brought us here will teach us, surprise us, change us, and restore us. Let’s look for his goodness and let him lead us to a new place of dependence and hope.

Will you join me?

Amanda DeWitt is a freelance writer, coach's wife, and mom. She completed her bachelor’s at Dallas Baptist University and holds a M.A. in media and communication from Dallas Theological Seminary. When she's not typing away at her computer, she's chasing her two little boys or watching her husband coach high school football.