Ever been in that place where you know going forward is going to be tough, and you turn around to see the same scene in the rear view mirror?
It's a place where perspective gets lost.
It's a time where cloudy judgement rules.
It's a time when the enemy can hurl those darts of doubt and confusion.
Ever been there?
Well, guess what? If you've been there like I have, we're in good company.
Remember the story in the Old Testament when the Israelites were marching out of Egypt, and they get to the Red Sea?
Exodus 13:17-14:31 records the whole story.
Moses was camping on the banks of the Red Sea, and the Bible says God hardened Pharaoh's heart to chase after them. The people woke up one morning to see the Egyptians coming after them, and they started complaining. "Were there no graves in Egypt? Did you bring us out here to die? Let us serve the Egyptians." And they longed to go back to a comfortable place safe from danger, but come to find out it would also be safe from knowing God's miracles.
The Bible says, "And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." (Exodus 14:13-14)
And the rest is history.
Moses did exactly what the Lord commanded, and deliverance fell on the people of Israel as they crossed the Red Sea on top of dry ground.
As I read that story this morning, I'm reminded God is the God of deliverance. Right before everything in our world falls apart, God is in the Resurrection business. One of my friends called yesterday and reminded me of God's modus operendi.
"He's not into success of man. Rather, God is interested in the Glory received when mankind can't possibly do anything of himself."
The Israelites had no way of making it through the scene. If they were to go forward, they drown. If they run backwards, they were to be slain. It was only the power of a God who has a hand of Mercy that brought them through.
I'm not advocating that He always comes through like we want. I know the story was meant for a time and a place far far away. But what I am consistently reminded of is the power and the character of the God we serve. It's not enough to just play God on Sunday and Wednesday nights to know Him. We've got to get to the Rock and the Hard place to test our faith in real ways.
I don't like going through it. But I know the sharpening happening in my own faith is sure to produce a richness that otherwise wouldn't be there. Thanks for praying. Thanks for supporting. Thanks for the outpouring of love and friendship. It's good when God's people pull together under one banner.
Humbly I write.