Easter - 2018

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Detour through the Red Sea!

"And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant" (Exodus 14:31, NIV).

Stuck! The Israelite's enemies were in hot pursuit, and in front of them stood an enormous expanse of water. What were they to do? They needed a detour through the Red Sea. If they turned back, their rivals would surely kill them. To venture into the Red Sea meant certain death as well.

Understandably, they turned to their leader, Moses. "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?" they cried. "What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" (Exodus 14:11-12).

Like petulant children, the former slaves turned to the man in charge and whined. And before I go any further, I must admit I've done the same thing. When I go through God's detours, I complain and whine.

There I am. Stuck. My enemies--self-doubt, fear, depression--are pursuing me. In front of me is the deep darkness of grief. To go forward requires a faith I don't have. To go back means losing all I have learned. So I complain.

"Lord, why haven't you answered my prayers?" I cry. "I thought you blessed those who seek you. I've been asking you for the same thing for months, even years. Don't you hear my prayers? It would better for me if I had never been born than to go through this pain. Didn't you hear me when I said I'd had all I could bear? How long will you let me go on like this?"

Have you been there? Most likely, God allows us to get to a "Red Sea" in our lives in order to show His glory to us, as He did for the Israelites.

Like many people, I hate waiting. And I'm sure the Israelites didn't like Moses' response to their little temper tantrum. He said: "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. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Can't you just see their astonished faces and hear their incredulous replies: "What did he say? Be still? A lot of good that will do!"

And we act the same way. God tells us to "wait," and we decide that's not good enough. So we make ourselves miserable trying to solve the problem (infertility, financial difficulties, marriage troubles, illness, and disease) ourselves.

But God provided a detour for the Israelites, as He is for us today. He sent a mighty wind, which blew back the Red Sea until it made two walls. Then He commanded His children to "move on." And one by one, they resolutely set foot into the bottom of the ocean, marveling at the incredible sights on either side of them.

So when you are faced with a great detour, stand back and watch. Allow the Lord to blow back the sea and astonish you with His miraculous deeds. God will make sure you arrive on dry land, and in doing so, He may slay a few of those enemies you've been running from.

Lord, give me the courage to be still and let You work in my life. Amen

You know I love ya - Don


Jessi said...

Just what I needed to hear...again! It's the balance between knowing when to be still and acting and using what God has given me that I'm having a hard time figuring out.

Don Crane said...

Me too.