I hope you are off to a good start for 2011. I have wanted to post something on the blog for the past few weeks, however, I need quiet and solitude in order to write and frankly I don’t get much of either. We had all of our kids home for Christmas and I must say we had a blast together. David, the ultimate cook and let-the-good-times-roll-kind-of-guy, prepared an eight day feast for us. He planned the entire menu for eight days, appetizers and deserts included, and emailed it to all of our kids ahead of time. They were asked to cast their vote on a couple of things. For instance, which 2 out of 5 soups they would prefer. One night he prepared a whole tenderloin with a fresh horseradish and dijon mustard rub. May I just say I really love having a husband that considers cooking one of his passions.
I am inclined towards two very different views when reflecting on 2010. One is to complain about how difficult it was; the other is to stand in awe with a heart full of praise and thanksgiving. With respect to financial stability, both personally and professionally, 2010 was take-a-deep-breath-and-hold-on-tight kind of year. Along with this pressure we had to make some tough decisions regarding ministry direction, which is never easy because it involves people you love. It was a year full of change and uncertainty; two things I don’t do very well.
I am just home from Houston where I met up with David, who was on his way back from the Middle East. We spent the weekend with one of our partner churches. While there I had the chance to visit with a friend. She and I went to Starbucks where we drank coffee and talked for the better part of 4 hours. I treasure the time the Lord gave me with her. As we reflected on what God has been doing in our lives she shared something that hit the nail on the head in regards to how I felt about the year 2010.
After the death of every first born in Egypt, Pharaoh urged Moses to take the enslaved Israelites and leave the land. Moses obliged and we read in Exodus 13:18 that God led the people out of Egypt “by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea....” Well wouldn’t you know it, Pharaoh had a change of mind and decided to go after them. Scripture tells us that Pharaoh chased after them with six hundred SELECT chariots and ALL the other chariots of Egypt. The entire Egyptian army pursued them. The place where the Israelites were camping was in between two mountain ridges that butted up against the Red Sea. Imagine yourself in the camp of the Israelites as you hear the sound of the chariots coming from afar? The sheer terror that must have seized the people. No way out, no running, no escaping, no hiding. Totally exposed in full view of their enemy.
It’s times like this that we beg the question, “Where are you God?” We don’t understand how He could lead us to our Red Seas exposed and vulnerable with no way out. We tend to turn our heads up and shout like the Israelites,“Why have you dealt with us in this way?!!" And like the Israelites we see no solution and no possible way out.
Something they could not foresee or ever imagine was getting ready to take place. They were about to see the salvation of the Lord which He alone would accomplish. From out of nowhere God swept the sea back by a strong east wind and provided dry land for them to walk across.
I’ve heard the chariots coming after me. I’ve been struck with panic and fear. I have scrambled for answers. I have been walled in with no foreseen way out. And I have seen the Lord part the Red Sea. We can’t imagine how He will do it. We have probably never seen it before. We look for practical solutions and sometimes there just aren’t any. Sometimes He just chooses to be honored through impossible situations, Pharaohs, and their armies so that the world, including you and me, will know that He is indeed the Lord. He alone is our salvation.