Sunday, June 12, 2011
Nowhere to Go
I'm glad I wasn't an Israelite, fresh out of Egypt. Can you imagine? With your back against the deep waters of the Red Sea, and your face looking into the power of Pharaoh's army? And you, holding all that Egyptian gold and silver, that you'd just left with? God struck them with the horrible plagues that released you from Egypt, but where is God now?
You are stuck, with nowhere to go. Between the sea and the army. If you survive this day alive, Pharaoh will take you back as a slave and order you to make bricks without straw or clay!
Have you ever felt like there are no options? No choices at all? Life is at a standstill and there's nowhere to go? (I'm feeling that way now.)
Exodus 14: 13,14: "But Moses said to the people, 'Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.'”
Stand by. While you keep silent.
There are many ways to respond to trouble, and they're not all bad. David often complained to God about misfortune, and I've seen that as permission to do the same. But the Israelites grumbled. In their complaining, they didn't think God would do anything. David at least always believed God could deliver him. One can also react to trouble with denial, or anger, or vengeance, or despair. None of these are good.
Sometimes God puts our backs up against a wall. All options are removed, and we are in a situational straight-jacket. "Stand by," He says. "Be silent." If you will watch, you'll see what I will do. Don't be afraid." (Yeah, right!! I feel like saying.)
In the past week, I've had so many friends say something like this: "I can't wait to see what the Lord will do with this! He definitely has a plan for your family. Let's watch and see what it is. I wonder what He'll do next!"
I believe this is the expectant, trusting, hopeful attitude we're supposed to have. It's very difficult. It's difficult again, each morning. But it's essential to becoming the child God wants me to be, which is a big purpose of the trouble in the first place. Stand by, I'm telling myself. Don't grumble. Watch for what God will do.