This blog has been a little bit quiet the last week because my sister has been visiting me from Singapore…and the sun finally emerged in the Netherlands so I have to enjoy that while I can. But I wanted to get a quick “Storm Survival” post out.
I have received this particular “Streams in the Desert” post 3 times in the last 2 days and wanted to share it. I found it to be very encouraging and sometimes storm survival is just allowing yourself to be encouraged for that day…allowing God to provide what you need to keep going and keep hoping. The post talks about Exodus 14 and God parting the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross.
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and GOD, with a terrific east wind ALL NIGHT LONG, made the sea go back. He made the sea dry ground. The seawaters split”
– Exodus 14:21 (The Message – emphasis mine)
I’d heard this story many times but somehow always missed the part that God worked through the night to part the sea. I guess I had internalized the “Hollywood” version where Moses raises his hand and the clouds get stormy and the waters immediately part…or at least within the span of the 2 minute clip. Nothing about them needing to wait all night. The first 1:30 from this clip of the Bible Miniseries Episode 2 (Exodus) does a great job of illustrating what I am talking about with the dramatization of the event:
I am trying to imagine what it was like. God had just used Moses to free his people from slavery under the Egyptians in a pretty spectacular fashion. He sent 10 plagues down to try and convince Pharaoh to release them…they were all pretty brutal but Pharaoh wouldn’t budge until the last one that killed his son. He had finally had enough of the Hebrew people and their God and allowed them to leave. So they collected their families and belongings and set out as a giant mob across the desert heading to the “Promised Land” where God would establish them as a new nation. Pharaoh eventually regrets letting his entire work force go and calls up his army to go after them.
There comes a point where the Israelites reach the Red Sea and God promised they would cross to the other side on dry land but I’m sure it looked pretty impossible to them…also they know now that Pharaoh is coming after them. There’s water in the front and a vicious army behind them. I think it would be pretty easy to doubt God’s promises and be afraid. Especially when Moses raises his hands, the wind picks up…and then nothing immediately happens. They need to wait ALL NIGHT.
Here is an excerpt from the Streams in the Desert post:
In this verse there is a comforting message showing how God works in the dark. The real work of God for the children of Israel, was not when they awakened and found they could get over the Red Sea; but it was “all that night”.
So there may be a great working in your life when it all seems dark and you cannot see or trace, but yet God is working. Just as truly did He work “all that night,” as all the next day. The next day simply manifested what God had done during the night. Is there anyone reading these lines who may have gotten to a place where it seems dark?
You believe to see, but you are not seeing. In your life-progress there is not constant victory; the daily, undisturbed communion is not there, and all seems dark.
“The Lord caused the sea to go back all that night.” Do not forget that it was “all that night.” God works all the night, until the light comes. You may not see it, but all that “night” in your life, as you believe God. He works.
– C.H.P. (via Streams in the Desert)
To me this is encouraging in the waiting, hoping, trusting season I am in. God was and IS faithful. The sea did part and the Hebrew people were able to cross to the other side. But I imagine that night of waiting was extremely terrifying for them.
I can’t see God working right now. I am in a figurative “night” holding on to promises that He will work all things out for my good. I feel like I am standing in front of a “Red Sea” with no idea how I am going to get to the other side. I do believe that when the time is right the path forward will be revealed…when this night shifts to day. Until then, I will remind myself of God’s faithfulness in my life and in the past generations and I have no reason to think this is any different. I will attempt to live my life in faith/trust not in fear.