When life feels like it’s going sideways and your present circumstances are over the top and way over your head, sometimes all we can think to do is shout to the heavens, “GOD, where are You?” In our angst and confusion it’s ‘human’ to want to reach out and grasp what appears to be the ‘right’ thing to do. Our emotions can cause our vision to cloud with all sorts of suggestions from our own thoughts and those of well-meaning observers.
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14: 13-14 NIV
Deferring to what logical remedies that may have seemingly worked in the past, we lose sight of what is actually now transpiring in front of us. Friends offering their advice and consolation may be temporary comfort, but lacking in soothing the wounds now inflicted by the battles of life.
Choosing to do the hard work of believing in what we know to be true, yet not seeing the immediate results of this thing called ‘faith,’ can be … well, a test of that ‘faith.’ Electing to be ‘still’ may seem counterintuitive to your circumstances, however, may be the very thing that leads to your exodus from it.
16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. Exodus 14:16 NIV
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. Exodus 14:21-22 NIV
The Israelites were freed from their place of bondage but their hearts had yet to experience the full freedom that GOD was gifting them. They were held in a place of fear and drowning in waves of uncertainty doubting that their rescue would come to fruition. But GOD …
He made that miraculous way in the desert, carved it out in front of their faces as they continued to question their safety and victory. Their feet took each one of those redeeming steps on dry land — He allowed for them to feel the ground beneath their sandals, He ordained for them to realize the dirt was real, the waters that surrounded them were real and held in place by His Hand. GOD could have elected to swoop and scoop them over the sea and onto dry land and that would have been the end of Egypt’s attempt to pull them back. But He didn’t.
In His Mercy and Love, our Sovereign GOD allowed for His People to experience His Presence through their journey. I can only imagine their utter amazement at seeing not only the waters of the Red Sea part so easily for them, but to tread on the very bottom of that Sea and not even feel the mush and slush of moisture. The marine creatures didn’t taunt or haunt them. They simply had to remain on the path and to keep moving forward not knowing how things would look when they arrived.
29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. Exodus 14:29 NIV
“What is your present Red Sea, Friend?”
Relationships that have turned inside out? Finances that have bellied up? A career that looked so promising but has proven to be unfulfilling? Medical diagnoses that you’re now having to deal with? Your job of many years has chosen to dismiss you for the sake of choosing a different direction? The home you’ve known for decades is needing dire repair and you don’t have the resources? Friends once closer than kin have turned their backs and left you with questions? Church hurt? Inability to gain employment though you are willing to take the least of wages? Health issues that are gaining momentum as you lose your ability to keep up with them? Prodigal family members that refuse to give ear to your words to help heal? Infertility? Legal battles that loom overhead with no light in the distance? Loneliness?
You can probably name yours: _____________________________________________________.
So often we feel that long journey of walking will never come to an end. We can do ourselves grave disservice by doubting the One Who whispers into our soul to keep taking that next step.
When we question the faithfulness of GOD’s deliverance, we will wander in our own demise. Circular walking lacks progress.
When we feel as though GOD has forgotten us in our misery, He may permit circumstances to exist to give us that encouraging ‘push’ to forge ahead. The Israelites had begun to complain to their leader, Moses, and blamed him for their present surroundings in the wilderness. When GOD moved on the armies of Pharaoh to cause them to pursue the Israelites, they had to make a swift decision to move forward according to GOD’s instructions. No time to waste. Move now.
And so much like us, they were petrified. They had never encountered something so foreign and extraordinary. The vast Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian armies behind them. The murmuring had already begun and backwards thinking had started to invade their minds. Thoughts of returning to what they knew — their predictable comfort zone — had tempted them to desire their former life of captivity.
But GOD loved them far too much to leave them that way. They were blinded by physical uneasiness and the unknown. Yet, He had already planned their redemption. GOD made a way. Then He said it was ‘go time.’ And so they did.
Moses was their leader but first he was GOD’s servant. He heard GOD’s Voice. He was in constant communion with Him. Took direction from Him. Consulted with Him. Prayed to Him. Worshipped Him. Obeyed Him.
“Do you hear Him, Friend?”
The only hope that we have is in the Person Hope: Jesus Christ. If we are in relationship with Him, we can hear His Voice through the written Word (Bible), spoken Word (pastors, teachers, preachers of the Word). When we are an active participant in His Family of other believers (the local Church), we can even hear His Voice in their words of encouragement, support and godly counsel. If we are in love with Him (yes, I did say that), we will commune with Him in quiet and intimate time with Him (prayer and personal study) — because we can’t live a day without hearing from Him. And He can and does impress upon our spirit through the Holy Spirit by illuminating those same words in Scripture that we’ve read a million times over — in the moment we need to see that light.
That formidable Red Sea will avail us to the undeniable power of GOD with us, Immanuel, and reveal Himself to us as He walks that journey with us. He desires to be in constant communication with us, so His Promise to always be present is the first matter at hand that we can know is ours to behold.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 NIV
I’m almost certain that the Israelites were no different than us, in that their hearts were beating out of their chests and the fear of GOD propelled them forward — perhaps more than the possibility of the Egyptians catching up to them.
The Lord is patient, Friend. He will give us the time to take each calculated step. He will not rush or push us further than we can bare.
Could it be that He intentionally does that so we will embrace and inhale His Goodness in the moment? Is it possible that He wants us to engrave the memory in real time so that we can recall it in later times when we need to remember His Faithfulness?
I will even go so far as to say that GOD in His Mercy, gifts us with experiences so that we know beyond the shadow of doubt that His track record with us is faultless. He is the One trustworthy and dependable.
“Do you have a track record with the Lord, Friend?”
Our human limited view of things fall short of the divine perspective. We moan and groan over what lies at our feet and what causes us to remain stuck there. Mistakenly thinking that this is where life ends.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9 NIV
Part of me thinks that the Israelites had similar thoughts as they stared out over the Red Sea. “How do we do this?”
Trust the One Who has the Plan already to set in motion. He is the Master Architect and He only has your best interests at heart. You may have to seek godly advisors who also have your best interests at heart with an objective perspective. They may be best equipped (as opposed to trying to figure things out on your own = circular walking may result) to help you see that Sea for what it is.
I have a dear friend whom I’ve treasured for a few decades — needless to say, we’ve done life together. She would say to me, “You just wait … GOD … Will … Blow … Your … Mind!” Somehow, when she looks directly into my eyes and places her hand on my shoulder, I know He’s speaking.
When the Lord destroyed the Egyptian armies that were in hot pursuit of the Israelites, He let it be known that He is the Lord Almighty. Nothing gets in His Way. And that’s a truth that we must cling to as we walk our Red Sea path, Friend. He will part the Sea of whatever appears to be impossible and walk us through the journey so that we can develop our trust in Him to keep us going — even beyond that Red Sea. And live to tell about it.
16-21 This is what God says,
the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
they lie down and then can’t get up;
they’re snuffed out like so many candles:
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’
—the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert,
rivers through the sunbaked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
the people I made especially for myself,
a people custom-made to praise me. Isaiah 43:19 Message
I don’t know what you’re facing at this moment. Your feelings are real and we validate them. The hurt, pain and fatigue are evident in the tears that have streamed down your face. But GOD … He has that Way … because He is the (only) Way … to strengthen you and hold you up for the journey to get to that other side.
Take hold of the Hand of Hope and refuse to let go of Him. He has already committed to remaining by your side forever.
When you have reached that other side of your Red Sea, we invite you to chronicle that and share so that others may have Hope as well. Your story matters. You will be pleasantly surprised that what you don’t presently see is just beyond your Red Sea.
And GOD will blow … your … mind.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary