Thursday, April 18, 2013

parting the waters in the night

I was chatting with a friend yesterday. A friend discouraged on the journey. Weary.  

You know the feeling. The one where you know God MUST be doing something because He is good and has called you to walk a certain road. But the one where God seems silent. Distant. Too far off to be with you in the junk you're going through. And one where it seems like rescue is a long time in coming.

I've been there. Heartbroken. Lonely. Tired.  On a long and hard journey. Calling out to God to save me and hearing only silence.

I've been reminded recently of the Israelites journey in the desert and their exodus from oppressive Egypt. They had just been released from hundreds of years of bondage and slavery. They even left with gold and jewels and clothing. God had performed dozens of miracles to get them to that point.

And then they reached the Red Sea.  

They encounter a massive road block. And their enemies are in hot pursuit. There's nowhere to turn. It seems all they can do is sit and wait for the inevitable to happen. To sit and wait for God's rescue.  

I've known that part of the story since I was little. Watching the flannelgraphs in Miss Marilyn's children's church. Moses lifts up his staff and God parts the Red Sea, saving the his people from the Egyptians and making the way.

But that's not exactly how it went.

The waters took all night to part. I had always assumed that it was immediate. That the Isrealites called on God and saw within minutes how the Lord would rescue them. But it took ALL NIGHT. In the grand scheme of things, this was only hours and they should be confident after just walking away from plundering their captors. But can you imagine how long that night must have been for them? They could see the Egyptian armies coming after them. The danger was real.

I recently heard a biblical scholar say that when God parted the Red Sea, he actually did it on the other side, where the Isrealites couldn't see what he was doing until the very last moment.

In the midst of all of this, Moses gives the people this word: "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today...The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." Exodus 14:13-14

From The Jesus Storybook Bible
I have been at the water's edge. At the place where God seems silent. Where he has faithfully led me and even done miracles to get me to that point. And then everything changes when I'm camping out at the edge of destruction. Where the night is long and God is quiet.

It's in these times that it just might be that he's doing something. God has been working through my night to part the waters. Bring healing. Do a miracle. Bring redemption. Answering my prayers.

And it's at these times when I'm at the water's edge that I need to believe the gospel. His timing is perfect. He is sufficient. He remains faithful. He knows what he's doing. I can trust.

The Lord will fight for me. He's been fighting all night.

He's moving the waters.  We just can't see it yet.



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