I’ve been camping out on a passage in Exodus for a few months. I’m speaking at a retreat in March, and the Scripture passage for the weekend is Exodus 14, the story about Moses and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea.
I love how much I have to learn in order to prepare for speaking at a retreat. That passage has stayed with me for a long time already, and I’ve been chewing and mulling over it, digging into it and praying about it, begging God to give me His words to pass on to those wonderful ladies I’ll be sharing the weekend with.
In Exodus 14, the Israelites have finally escaped from Egypt, and are heading off on their journey to the Promised Land. But just when they think they’re safely away, they look behind them to see Pharaoh and his army coming after them.
I cannot even begin to imagine what that must have felt like, for a few reasons….
First of all, God had promised Abraham that He would bring His people out of slavery, and after 400 years, they must have been very ready to see the fulfillment of that promise.
And secondly, to think their escape had finally come, they had finally gotten away, and then to think that everything was about to slip through their fingers.
The panic that must have set in! There were thousands of them, and the frustration, anger, and terror that must have swept over all those people is hard to imagine.
But then Moses says to them,
“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.”
Do nothing, and God will take care of this impossible situation for you. Amazing.
But then, the very next verse is so interesting to me:
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on….”
That doesn’t seem to go together. But this is the thought that has stayed with me for weeks. Be still, and move on.
Can I come to such a place in my relationship with God? To become still before Him, trusting and surrendering so completely that my heart is still and at peace, and to remain that way as I move on? To keep taking the next step, keep moving forward, living each day with such faith and trust, that my heart remains still as I keep moving through life?
It reminds me of the Oswald Chambers quote I shared with you awhile back:
It’s a different way of expressing the same idea, but for some reason, this description of actions is sinking in even deeper for me.
Often, throughout my day, when my thoughts are building with tension and busyness, those words come to me…
I try to take a moment to focus, take a deep breath, send up a quick prayer, and then…move on.
Two simple-sounding actions that are so difficult to do! May God give you the strength today to find rest and stillness in Him, and move on with trust and faith!