This morning I stumbled upon one of my favorite verses while I was reading through the story of Moses, when he brought the people of Israel out of Egypt. As they were fleeing, Pharaoh and the Egyptians were right behind them, coming after them. I’m sure the Israelites must have felt like the situation was turning into a disaster; they were probably scared and confused. They had been promised to be rescued, yet here they were, surely about to be killed. And you know what they said? It would’ve been better to have stayed in Egypt.
In those moments of terror, their enslavement sounded better than following the Lord’s plan for them. Because the Lord’s plan was scary.
It makes me think about how many times I must have had this same mentality. How many times have I been on the path which the Lord was directing me towards, talking back to Him to say it would have been better to go a different direction?
Sometimes we feel trapped. We’re stuck in the middle of waiting for something to change, lost in a cloud of uncertainty, unable to get away when we see trouble looming, and we’re surrounded by all the things which seem to hurt us most. We want to escape and go anywhere but here.
When life gets complicated, when it doesn’t turn out the way I expected, my mind immediately goes to all the other possibilities that could have happened if I had taken a different direction. I think it would have been better to do this or that, because anything would be better than where I am now.
But what I can’t see is the road ahead. I can’t see the end result. I have to wait to find out what the Lord is doing, because He’s the only one who knows where He’s taking me. He knows best and His ways are good – even when the waiting looks like impending doom. It will feel scary, it will be uncomfortable, it will seem like the world is about to end right in front of me while there will not be not a thing I can do about it. It will be in the moments where I feel like I cannot move that I will start to look around for a way out. It will be in my helplessness that I will wish I had turned around. It will be in the panic and chaos where I will say, surely I should have stayed where I was and not have followed You into this place.
Yet, He will remind me exactly what Moses reminded the people of Israel: The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still (Exodus 14:14).
When the road ahead looks frightening, He will fight for me. When I’m waiting, wondering where on earth we’re going, He will fight for me. When I want to go back, He will fight for me. When fear and insecurity threaten to take over, He will fight for me. When the world comes knocking at my door with their insults and their weapons, meant to do me harm and to crush my heart, He will fight for me. I only need to be still – to know that He is God and that He will defend me. He will hear me when I call and He will not need to come to my rescue because He will already be there by my side. He desires good for me. He desires His best for me. But He cannot bring me to that place until I surrender myself to the journey. I must take His hand and follow the sound of His voice, even when I can’t see and even still when what I do see makes me want to run the other direction.
Because when He is with me, nothing can harm me. Nothing can get in the way of His perfect plan for my life.
If only we could trust in those moments instead of turning the other way. What beautiful things could we see when we accept we really cannot see at all?
The magnificent thing about grace is that even when we try to run the other direction, He still turns us back around. I wonder how many times I’ve almost ruined what He was trying to do in my life – probably quite a few. But He would have none of that. Even in my stubbornness and fear, He calls me gently in the way I should go. Because He knows better than I and He will have His way. I’m so thankful He will have His way. I know He is up to something and it makes me want to get up and try again.
So I’ll put one foot in front of the other.
Knowing nothing will happen unless it is His will.
Trusting He is fighting the battles I can’t even see.
Making the way clear an inch at a time.
And walking with me every step of the way.
Oh, my soul
Wait upon the Lord
Keep your lamp filled with oil
Oh, my soul
Be not deceived
Wait for Him
Do not be quick to leave
Lord, today You know what I need to do
But You can do more in my waiting than in my doing I could do
So I won’t run anymore
I’m waiting on You
[To Those Who Wait ~ Bethany Dillon]