“And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground…” Exodus 14:22
I don’t know what overwhelming obstacle you face today, but the Israelites were facing a totally terrifying and impossible situation. A vast sea lay endlessly before them and a well-armed gigantic army was rumbling behind them. From where they stood, death was inevitable. No matter which direction they went, they were not going to get out alive. It was a matter of playing “would you rather die drowning in the sea or by the sword of your enemy?” Pick one.
To make matters worse, the guiding cloud of God was no longer in front of them. It now glowed in the dark behind them. The choice was clearly being made for them. Move forward, not backward. But forward was water. Endless, deep, non-breathable water. Forward was just as deadly as backward. Escape, even just survival, appeared to be impossible.
I’m sure they wondered. Why God? Why are you forcing us into a place you know we won’t survive? Why did you take us out of Egypt to drown us in the Red Sea? They may have even muttered, “Can’t we go back now?” Or even simply, “I just don’t understand.”
How often do we face situations that seem impossible to us? How many times have we followed God only to be stopped in our tracks by obstacles we didn’t expect? How often have we wondered if we were truly doing the right thing after we had left everything that was familiar behind?
The people had been faithful and now they were stuck between a rock and a hard place. The only thing they had done to be in this situation was to follow God’s directions.
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.” (Exodus 14:21-22).
The miracle in this story to me isn’t so much that God parted the sea, but the fact that the people stepped into the sea that God parted. God’s power and glory aren’t hard to find. Just look at a sunrise or a sunset. Visit the Rocky Mountains or Grand Tetons. Gaze at a newborn baby.
God’s miracles are around us every day. I know God has the ability to divide the sea, the hard part for me is trusting His miracles enough to walk in them. I believe God can make a way through any of my difficult circumstances, I’m just not always sure He will do it for me. I tend to stand still, not moving, waiting until the path is safe and clear before I do something. I want to see what He is doing. I want a well-lit trail to follow before I step out. I crave continual reassurance that what I am doing is the right thing. For the people of Israel, the seas parted during the night when it was dark. God does some of His best, most powerful work when we can’t see it happening.
God not only parted the sea for them while they waited in the dark, but He also called them to walk through the path He miraculously made for them. The ground beneath them was dry, but the walls beside them were still high and wet. To walk between those walls of water must have been knee-shaking, fist-clenching, teeth-rattling terrifying. But they did it. They walked through that insurmountable water to safety. That my friends is what gives me courage. It’s not God doing great things (I know He can do that), it’s me walking in the great things He is doing in spite of the difficulties, hardships, and wet walls that surround me.
Yes, God will make a way for us when there doesn’t seem to be way, but we have to trust Him enough to step out and walk in the direction He is leading us- no matter what.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.