Today's Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“…and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.”
Exodus 14: 21, 22
King James Version
“Into the Sea on Dry Ground”
“In all trouble you should seek God. You should not set Him over against your troubles, but within them. God can only relieve your troubles if you in your anxiety cling to Him. Trouble should not really be thought of as this thing or that in particular, for our whole life on earth involves trouble; and through the troubles of our earthly pilgrimage we find God.”
Have I seen God’s hand at work in the troubles that have plagued my life?
When has God helped me walk through a “sea of problems” on dry ground?
“Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness.”
“Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”
Isaiah 30: 20-21
New International Version
It was night. It was dark. It was windy. A wind like no one had ever felt before – so powerful it blocked out any other sounds. As the minutes ticked by, the fierceness of the storm seemed only to increase. Fear was a mask that covered every face. But it was a fear hidden by the blackness of the night. A darkness that obliterated the evidence that even in the most dense darkness, God was at work.
As the sun began its slow ascent into the heavens, in the faint morning light, the sound of whispers became shouts of joy. As family after family passed the news from tent to tent. “There’s a path through the sea.”
When the children of Israel had gone to bed, they knew Pharaoh was closing in fast. And they knew a huge sea lay in front of them. Defeat seemed certain, and so did disaster.
What this crowd of over 1 million faced was darkness, desperation, and death. The same things you and I often face, whether they are health, financial, spiritual or emotional problems, these Pharaohs ride into our lives intending to destroy us. As though the darkness of the night wasn’t discouraging enough, a fierce wind began to blow, and the trapped Israelites probably thought if the wind did not blow them away, the sea would end up drowning them.
That is until they saw a path through the sea. And it wasn’t just any path. It wasn’t rocky or muddy. It was, as the Bible tells us, a dry path. God used the night and the wind as tools that made the impassable – passable! Who would have guessed that God was at work making a way of escape at the darkest moment and when the wind was blowing the hardest, but that’s exactly what He did!
The great English playwright, William Shakespeare penned these very appropriate words:
“Sweet are the uses of adversity, which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head, and this our life, exempt in public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in every thing. I would not change it.”
In the worst moments of our lives; in the most unexpected places; in the times when we least expect it – God’s presence is made known. It is evident by the result of the wind for there is a dry path through the river. A path that takes us safely through our problems.
In the words of an unknown author, “There can be no rainbow without a cloud and storm.” And if you don’t believe me, ask a crowd of over 1 million women, men and children who walked through a river with walls of water on either side and yet the ground around them was bone dry. All I can say is, “WOW – What a Deliverer!” Our God works around the clock, in good weather and bad, when the impossible needs a specialist – He’s at work. And before we know it, when we awake, the path has been made through the sea for you and me.
“Adversity is like the period of the rain; cold, comfortless, unfriendly to man and to animal; yet from that season have their birth the flower, the fruit, the date, the rose and the pomegranate.”
Sir Walter Scott
“Now my life is hidden with Christ in God; I am yours, Lord, for better, for worse, in times when I feel well and alive, and in the bleak landscape of my darkness; in it all I am yours.”
(Based on Colossians 3:3)
“God, here I will stand to fulfil what your faith in me expects. I will take the desert upon myself, the absence of your answers, your multifaceted, eloquent silence, to allow the fruit of solitude to ripen in me as nourishment for others. I will not run away, even when I become afraid of the endless sand, of the senselessness, you silent one, because you are never far.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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