I have a tendency to try and control things that I am incapable of controlling. This fault of mine has long caused me to miss out on enjoying the moment. I can borrow worries of the future that never really play out and I can be anxious regarding things that are far beyond my ability to influence. With that in mind the text for this Sunday is perfect for me.
Moses and the Israelites have been delivered by God’s “mighty acts” and have left Egypt for the Promised Land that God has prepared for them. Can you imagine this event? Three million people journeying together – the logistics of this are absolutely mind-boggling! They left the only home they had ever known. Even though Egypt was a land of slavery, it was also their norm and therefore it produced a certain amount of security. This is the same issue for so many of us who remain in bad situations but at least it is “our” situation and it is familiar.
After a short amount of time Pharaoh changes his mind again and sends his army to bring the Israelites back into bondage. The mighty Egyptian military with its hundreds of chariots is nearly upon the Israelites. The former slaves are infinitely ill-equipped to defend themselves against this enemy. As the saying goes, “They are between a rock and a hard place.” Israel had the Red Sea in front of them, the Egyptian army behind them, hills on one side and desert on the other. They were trapped!
But the bigger truth is that they were just where God had led them. He had brought them to this very point in time, to this very location so that He could teach them and us that we are in His loving hands. But the Israelites cry out in their fear and their doubt against Moses and God, “Why did you bring us out in the wilderness to die? Weren’t there enough graves in Egypt?” I wish I could be amazed at their lack of faith but in reality I need to confess similar short-term memory problems of what God has done in my life too.
God speaks through Moses to the questions of the people he has been called to lead and I am in the audience as well.
Today my patient, mighty and gracious God reminds me again that He is the Creator and I am His beloved creation. He cares for me and loves me all through the days of my life. That obviously includes the days that are filled with laughter as well as the days that I feel like I am “between a rock and hard place.”
Trying to be still,
Pastor Nick Mundis