As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the LORD, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!'” (Exodus 14:10-12, NLT).
I hate winter. I have made so secret about that. Bad things happen in winter. I mean just yesterday there were three accidents right outside the shop where I work. The third was more surprising. I got a call from a customer that had just left asking if I knew that a car had crashed into our building. I hadn’t heard anything (no one else had either) but I went to the front door to check anyway. I was not expecting what I saw.
Things that make you go “hmmm.”
How does that happen without making any noise?
Business was slow enough with the weather. Having a car in the entry way didn’t help that.
Sometimes life is like that isn’t it? Sometimes things come quietly crashing into our life. We may not even hear it happen. All the sudden we look up and realize things are a mess. Maybe you had something to do wit it, or maybe it just happened.
Times like these have a tendency to highlight our weakness don’t they? We get afraid, we doubt, we question ourselves, we wonder how things will ever get fixed. We wonder how we could have been so blind or stupid or careless or clueless or unlucky.
Please tell me I am not the only person who has felt that way? You know what I’m talking about right?
I have been learning that these are the times when God is working deep in our souls doing work that only He can do. He seems absent, quiet, and unconcerned. But the reality is that He is working where you can’t see. The frustrating thing is that we can’t see what He is doing, it certainly doesn’t feel good, and there are no clear explanations given. That makes these times hard. We want to know what God is doing, why He allows things, why He doesn’t remove things, and what He hopes to gain.
I’m sure that is what the Israelites were thinking in that passage. They though they were free, but now they seemed trapped with no way out. There was no where to run. They couldn’t fight their way out. What was the point of getting out of Egypt if they were just going to be slaughtered by Pharaoh’s army?
In these times our work is to let Him work. And that’s work! It takes work to trust, to wait, to sit still.
I am reminded of a time when my daughter Rachel needed stitches in her lip. She was jumping around the living room and slipped and fell into the coffee table. She was two at the time. She was hysterical. When we were in the emergency room getting her stitches, she needed to be held down on the table and her head held still. The doctor and nurses were great. They were very kind. She got some good drugs to numb the pain. But it did not look kind, or feel like she was being helped. To her, she was restrained on a table while a stranger suck her lip with a shot of Novocain and then took a needle and thread to her face. To her God was gone and her parents weren’t helping. To us, we were doing everything we needed to in order to heal her.
We don’t really perceive how we are changing or growing in these times. It isn’t until they are over that we begin to see the fruits of what was done. Are we willing to do the work of resting in God’s hands and trusting in His love and care for us?