So this past Sunday my pastor, who has been walking us through Exodus in the Bible verse by verse, brought us all the way up to the part of the story where Moses parts the Red Sea. As most of you know by now, I wasn’t raised in church and I didn’t do any of the coloring books with Moses or the dioramas of Noah and his ark full of stuffed animals with a rainbow overhead, but even I know about Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea!
My pastor was really painting the picture for us of what these people- the Israelites- were up against in the days and moments leading up to this miracle and I have to say, it started to make me recognize how many times in my life I find myself up against my own ‘Red Seas.’
Y’all, this year is going to be big for my business and for our family. I just know it. I feel it. I see it. I believe it. But I also realize that this year is coming up on being half over! And when I start to look at the calendar and where I thought my business would be and what I still see as a giant mountain left in front of us, I start to freak the heck out. It’s true. I start to doubt, I start to fear, I start to compromise. And I hate that!!!
The Israelites were being lead out of slavery in Egypt, where they had just endured a ton of crazy plagues that were supposed to be evidence of the God they believed in, and even though those plagues were that for them, they were also scary and stressful.
Add to that the fact that immediately after the Pharaoh had agreed to let them go and leave the slavery they were subjected to in Egypt, he changed his mind and sent his army after them. That’s not stressful or anything. Now if you look at the map, they were quite literally between a rock and a hard place geographically, and their backs were up against a wall… of water (aka the Red Sea).
I mean… have you not been there? Everywhere you look there is an obstacle! One direction is a mountain, one way it’s a freaking ocean and the other way it’s the enemy chasing you down! One minute you’re being lead out of slavery and it’s the best day ever- you’re headed for the Promised Land. And the next day its like… wait, did I even want this? Slavery in Egypt isn’t looking so bad! At least I knew what to expect! Am I right?
I’ve been there. Oh yes, I’ve been there. I’ve been there where I’m cursing myself for being so brave and so bold that I thought I could achieve far beyond what I was actually capable of achieving. I’ve been there where ‘just fine’ suddenly seems dang near as good as ‘exceptional’ and I’m wondering why the heck I just couldn’t have been content in average. Why do I have to be so ambitious!? Who am I? Now I’m just a MUCH bigger failure than I could have been if I would have just failed quietly.
I was there as recently as last week! In my darling, little human mind, I felt like I had been set up to fail. I felt like my hopes were just so high because of the dream of a Promised Land, and all of the sudden I found myself in the midst of obstacles, dead ends and overwhelm.
Readers, let’s not forget what happens next in the story…
Just when you think that everything you’ve done is for nothing and you’re just going to end up right back where you started anyway (not necessarily in Egypt in slavery, but figuratively…) and you feel like there is just no possible way forward…
…The Sea parts.
Y’all, the SEA PARTS! Do you ever stop to think… maybe I’m not being set up to fail. Maybe I’m being set up for a front row seat to a miracle. And what a spectacular miracle that must have been to watch and be a part of… but you guys, I’ve seen the sea part in my own life, haven’t you? I’ve seen the answer pop out of the darkness when I just could not see how it would ever possibly work. I actually experienced money falling out of the clear blue sky when Thomas and I were buying this farm. We were 100% up against a wall, with absolutely no answers or solutions in sight, and complete hopelessness in our hearts when the sea parted (Read more about that miracle here).
I know it happens. I believe in miracles, big and small. Read the articles your friends are circulating on Facebook about the baby who wasn’t supposed to live and did, and the terminal illness that wasn’t so terminal anymore. You guys, we live in a world where setbacks are set ups for comebacks…
… if we can just have a little faith.
If just a week or so ago I was standing with my heels in the sea, looking at mountains and hurtles and enemy attacks and fear and doubt… today, I’m walking on bone dry seabed sand, friends. And I’m willing to bet that if you look for it… you’ll find those moments in your life. You’ll see them now, in hindsight, the moments where that friend came through in the last minute or that money showed up in an unexpected way, or that message, card, gift or kind word from a strangers pulled you away from the edge of that darkness. You’ll see it if you look.
And if you’re standing, right now, with your heels in the sea… I want to encourage you to turn around, face that sea, and wait… with confidence. Because Readers, you didn’t come this far to only come this far. You weren’t brought all this way only to go back to where you started… you’re about to witness a miracle. Believe it.