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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Uncertainty at the Edge

Uncertainty at the Edge

He gave a command to the Red Sea, and it dried up; he led his people across on dry land” (Psalm 106:9, GNT).

Each of us at some point will face a Red Sea. It will be something harder than we ever imagined. There will appear to be no way through or around it. It will appear that there is no answer. But just as the Lord parted the Red Sea for His people fleeing Egypt–just as He dried it up so they could move safely forward–just as He provided what was necessary at their most desperate moment, He parts the Red Sea and makes a path for His children now.

Moses never failed in trusting God. With the Red Sea in front of him and the Egyptians advancing from behind, he stood with the Israelites at the very edge of what appeared destruction. He had followed the Lord's leading, and now there seemed to be no hope. There was no visible escape. There was nothing but his faith in the Lord who had brought them to this place. “'Do not be afraid,' Moses told the Israelites. 'Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still'” (Exodus 14:13-14, NIV). When Moses told the Israelites to be still and wait for the Lord to fight, God told them something different. “Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground'” (Exodus 14:15-16, NIV). He told Moses to raise His staff and the waters would part, and He told the people to keep moving forward in faith. There at the edge, the decision had to be made. They moved forward trusting God to hold back the walls of water. They moved forward trusting God to take care of the enemy behind them. The promise of deliverance came with their obedience to step forward into the uncertainty of the what was ahead.

When faced with our Red Sea, we sometimes try to pull back. Perhaps we see it rising in the distance, and we turn from its imposing presence. But the army of life presses us closer, and we cannot turn back. Suddenly we stand the edge. We believe that there is no way to go further, and there is obviously no retreat; we give up and are paralyzed by our fear. To experience freedom, we must move into our Red Sea. It is at that moment when circumstances allow no retreat, that we must go forward into the unknown for God to part the waters and make a way through it. That imposing Red Sea presents the greatest fear. But without facing the fear and moving right through it with God's help, we will never overcome that which has driven us to the very edge of ourselves.

Our Red Sea lies ahead. Circumstances press from behind. We know that we must face our Red Sea. There is no escape. We can either allow it to paralyze, or we can step forward in faith and allow God to part the waters. We can either try to control what we cannot control, or we can release our fear to God and move forward in faith. At the very edge, we make our decision. It is not only the edge of our Red Sea; it is the edge of ourselves. We know that there is nothing that we can do. If we step into the unknown, we will discover the power of God to strengthen and deliver. Believing and trusting that the waters will part, we will go forward through what otherwise might destroy us. It is there in what appears sure destruction that we experience His power to deliver and even change the circumstances which have brought us to the edge. We find in the depths of what we have feared the most that when we have been obedient, we have His peace and the pure joy of victory.

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