Can you imagine it? In front of you all you can see is people, behind you multitudes of people and to your left and right all the same. You’re one of thousands and you’re running. Running as fast as you can because even though you can’t see it you know your aggressor is edging closer. You’ve been a slave so long you’re still getting used to what freedom tastes like, and before you can decide if you like it, someone is trying to take that freedom away. Women are struggling to keep up with the men, children are screaming as they are clutched in their mothers arms, there’s so much commotion as animals pull along carts carrying those unable to walk. What will you do if you’re captured? You’re pretty sure they will torture you for having escaped their clutches the first time. You’ve been told of this “God” that will save you but where is he now? You can feel your heart thunder in your chest, it’s beat the only sound that’s a contender for all the noise around. It’s chaos. Suddenly the pace comes to a halt. Your captor is coming closer and people are stopping with no explanation. Maybe those in front are trying to offer those at the back as some sort of sacrifice as they figure out a plan to escape. Well you won’t go down without a fight. As you scramble through the crowd weaving in an out of those that are taking this as an opportunity to rest you can slowly see what has caused the delay. Your heart begins to slow and your mind follows suit as you try to make sense of the madness. Here you are, alongside all of your fellow natives and standing between you and your long awaited freedom is the sea. Not a river that you can wade through, not a lake that you can swim across but the raging Red Sea.
I can’t imagine what it was like to be an Israelite on that day. It was supposed to be D-day and yet here they were still struggling for their lives. Can you imagine how quickly their songs of praise would have gone from joyful and triumphant to becoming silenced by that overwhelming feeling that God has forsaken them. They had stayed true to God in the midst of their slavery and now he had led them into the desert to die.
What do you do when you’re at your Red Sea? Do you praise God because it might be your last breath and you’re scared you won’t make it into heaven. Do you moan and blame God for bringing you this far only to fail you? Or do you wait? When the Israelites got to the riverbed there was no boat in sight for them to jump on. God hadn’t made it clear what they would use to get across, and at their tails where the Egyptians ready to devour.
Sometimes life seems hopeless. In front of you is a no-entry sign and behind you doesn’t bear thinking about. You thought you had your breakthrough, you thought God had brought you through the storm, only to be faced with another. You’d even started telling people your testimony but what will you tell them now? That you’d spoken too soon and realised that sometimes God fails?
How do you keep the faith when there’s no way to swim to the other side and there isn’t a boat for you to clamber into?
Whilst the Israelites were saying their last prayers, cursing God, and cursing Moses for attempting to save them, Moses had his head to the sky waiting on God to save them. I get anxious waiting for my food to come out of the microwave, can you imagine how uncomfortable that wait was? When it’s between life and death, angst turns to fear and can easily become despair.
God is faithful and just-
God has your best interests in mind-
life couldn’t be worse
God will see you through-
you can’t wait to sign out.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
How will you learn patience if you’ve never had to wait on God? We pray to see the things we can’t see, we want to be transformed in our thinking, but we don’t want to go through what’s necessary to get us there. I’m not saying to glorify your struggle but to glorify your God in the midst of it all.
There’s so many ways God could have saved the Israelites but he parted the Red Sea. Why not a boat? Why not giving them the strength to swim? Because every other option would have given room for co-incidence receiving the glory, or self gratification to swoon in.
God wants us to know that where there is no hope and we’re looking for a way out, he is the hope we cannot see. God is the strength that we don’t utilise and he’s the comfort that we don’t lean on.
What will you do when faced with your next Red Sea?
Love ya long time
Dee Cee xxxxx