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The Red Sea Place

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"And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant" ( , NIV).

Stuck. The Israelite's enemies were in hot pursuit, and in front of them stood an enormous expanse of water. What were they to do? If they turned back, their rivals would surely kill them. To venture into the Red Sea meant certain death as well.

Understandably, they turned to their leader, Moses. "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?" they cried. "What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" ( ).

Like petulant children, the former slaves turned to the man in charge and whined. And before I go any further, I must admit I've done the same thing.

There I am. Stuck. My enemies--self-doubt, fear, depression--are pursuing me. In front of me is the deep darkness of grief. To go forward requires a faith I don't have. To go back means losing all I have learned. So I complain.

"Lord, why haven't you answered my prayers?" I cry. "I thought you blessed those who seek you. I've been asking you for the same thing for months, even years. Don't you hear my prayers? It would better for me if I had never been born than to go through this pain. Didn't you hear me when I said I'd had all I could bear? How long will you let me go on like this?"

Have you been there? Most likely, God allows us to get to a "Red Sea" in our lives in order to show His glory to us, as He did for the Israelites.

Like many people, I hate waiting. And I'm sure the Israelites didn't like Moses' response to their little temper tantrum. He said: "Do not be afraid. 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."

Can't you just see their astonished faces and hear their incredulous replies: "What did he say? Be still? A lot of good that will do!"

And we act the same way. God tells us to "wait," and we decide that's not good enough. So we make ourselves miserable trying to solve the problem (infertility, financial difficulties, marriage troubles) ourselves.

But God was with the Israelites, as He is with us today. He sent a mighty wind, which blew back the Red Sea until it made two walls. Then He commanded His children to "move on." And one by one, they resolutely set foot into the bottom of the ocean, marveling at the incredible sights on either side of them.

Seeking help from other sources isn't wrong. Doctors are often able to help infertile couples conceive, and marriage counselors can help couples put a troubled union back together. Financial advisors are great for helping people get out of debt. But for the Believer, we must first consult the Lord before we take off in search of a cure. We may want a quick fix, when God wants us to be refined and purified by a time of waiting for Him to act.

So when you are faced with a sea of grief, don't try to take a shortcut. Allow the Lord to blow back the sea and astonish you with His miraculous deeds. God will make sure you arrive on dry land, and in doing so, He may slay a few of those enemies you've been running from.

Lord, give me the courage to be still and let You work in my life.

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Copyright 2001 Dena J. Dyer. Used by permission. Dena Dyer is a freelance writer, speaker and musician from Granbury, Texas. Her desire is to share Christ's love with hurting, harried women. Visit her Web site at:



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