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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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“Between a rock and a hard place” is a phrase I heard growing up that I never understood. I think of that phrase now a lot when I read Scripture, though; we see time and time again God’s people in seemingly hopeless scenarios—essentially between a rock and a hard place. But His plans are always better than ours. You think, there is no way they’re getting out of this one! But God always makes a way.

In Acts 7, Stephen is before the council, and in response to their questions, he tells account after account of their history of persecuted prophets. He starts with Abraham, works his way to Joseph, and then gets to Moses in verses 20-21.

At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son.

Moses’ story jumps out to me as a rock-and-hard-place situation. First, Pharaoh ordered all the Hebrew baby boys killed. Then, Moses’ mother hides him for three months, puts him in a basket in the river where Pharaoh’s daughter finds him, and then God makes way for his mother to be his “nurse” and ensure his care at the beginning of his life ( ). Then, if that wasn’t enough, God continues to rescue Moses from a rock and a hard place, as we see later in Exodus 14.

As the Israelites flee Egypt, they’re standing at the Red Sea and see two options: drown in the Red Sea or go back to Egypt to be enslaved. The ultimate “between a rock and a hard place” scenario! But God made a way that wasn’t even an option. He parted the Red Sea, and the Israelites walked through on dry land.

How often have we been in situations where we felt like all the options were in front of us, and all seemed like hard choices, but God provided a path we didn’t see before? For me, I look back and can count a handful of times where I’ve experienced Moses and the Red Sea moments where God brought help through an avenue I didn’t know existed.

Remember that God is a God of love, kindness, and grace when you find yourself in a seemingly impossible situation. He is full of mercy and wisdom, and He is just. Ask Him to make a way for you to move forward in His will. Ask for guidance, direction, and wisdom. God is often working things out in ways we can’t yet see. So trust Him and lean on Him through these times.

Jesus, thank You for making a way when things seem hopeless. Help us never lose sight that your plans are greater than ours. When we think we're in a rock-and-a-hard-place situation, bring us comfort and peace as we trust in You. In Your name. Amen. 


Scripture is quoted from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved. 

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About The Author


Maria is a Digital Copywriter at CBN who is passionate about using her writing to present the gospel and encourage someone to take the next step in their relationship with Jesus! In addition, she's an avid sports, fitness, and holistic health fan who lives outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and son.

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