The past 365 days have been unique among the years that have preceded it throughout my life. Many “firsts,” a few “lasts,” and many “I hope I never go through this agains.”
While I won’t dive into the details of my 2017 at this juncture, do indulge me as a share what the Lord did in me and through me throughout these past 52 weeks. One phrase that certainly didn’t originate with me has.
Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” – Exodus 14:13-14
This passage picks up with the story of the Hebrew people being led out of Egyptian captivity by Moses… The Hebrews find themselves between an un-crossable Red Sea at their front and an enraged Egyptian army at their back. Now, we know how this story ends… Moses walks out in front people facing the water (cue Charlton Heston), the Red Sea splits down the middle, and God’s people walk through on dry ground.
I think we often glance over the magnitude of some of the Bible stories because we’ve heard them time and time again, but consider this situation for a moment. This moment is one of such despair for the Hebrew people that they actually cry out to Moses saying that he should have just left them alone as slaves in Egypt… Because slavery is better than death. They had no clue as to what God was up to, and what He was about to do in their midst.
That was my 2017.
No, as far as I know no one tried to kill me. No, I didn’t get caught between death and a large body of water. And no, I’ve never been a slave. Ok, so maybe I’m guilty of a little hyperbole…
But this year I did find myself in a place where I did think that maybe, just maybe, God had forgotten me. That what I thought I heard God speak into my heart was just maybe indigestion. All to the point where I sincerely questioned my faith and my calling. It was tough. It was dark. But I kept going back to Exodus 14.
There through Moses, God told His people:
1. Don’t be afraid
God is good even when life isn’t. Because He’s good, I can trust Him regardless of the situation or circumstances.
2. Stand still
Anxiety and restlessness are not necessary, helpful, or even godly… Stop striving. Stop fretting. Just stand still and…
Watch your “daddy” God make a way. Watch Him throw logic and reason to the wind. Watch Him roll up His sleeves and remind your circumstances that your Father is the biggest and baddest. This comment makes way more sense if you had arguments in second grade about who’s daddy could beat up the other as I did.
4. Your battle is God’s to fight, not your own.
God’s response to their cry of desperation and despair?
As you walk, I’ll make a way.
And that is exactly what God did for His people. He used their moment of hopelessness to show Himself as a God who makes a way where there seems no way.
And that is what He will do for you and me also. No, it may not always come to pass as quickly as it did for the Hebrews. No, it may not happen the way you would have imagined it (in fact it rarely does).
But – just walk. Walk in faith. Walk in confidence. When the road gets hard, when the night is darkest, when it seems all hope is lost, just put one foot of faith in front of the other and take one more step.