Exodus 14:15 (NIV)
“Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”
One of my all-time favorite bible stories is the story of Moses. It is an amazing account of how God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. I love reading about all the awesome things God did on their behalf by showing His faithfulness to them in powerful ways. It is a rollercoaster of suspense, leading up to Pharaoh finally giving in and allowing God’s chosen people to leave and head toward the new land He had promised them.
But what I find most interesting of all is what Paul Harvey calls, “the rest of the story.” I am talking about those action-packed events that happened after Pharaoh changed his mind and went chasing after them.
The Israelites saw the Egyptians coming after them and were terrified. They cried out to the Lord for help. Then they started complaining to Moses and asking him why he brought them out to the desert to die. In their fear, they began to long for Egypt and to return to their former captive way of life.
Fortunately, God knew that as soon as they experienced trouble, they would want what was familiar to them. They would remember the place where they had been dependent. His plan was to take them the long way round, strengthening and caring for them. Then He would put them in such a predicament that it would be impossible for them to escape without His help.
Sometimes it is God himself that takes us to a spot where we feel trapped or cornered. We cannot go forward or backwards. We feel as if all hope is lost. But during those times, God wants to prove to us who He really is, and it is no time to quit. We just have to keep moving!
Like the Israelites, when we encounter times of stress, it is no time to give up on God or run back to the chaotic life we have been freed from. Sometimes our enemies–self-doubt, fear, and anxiety—are all pursuing us. In front of us is uncertainty. To go forward requires a faith some of us just do not have. To go back means losing all we have learned–so we complain. But we do not need to. That is because no matter what we face, God goes before us to show us the way, behind to protect us, beside to befriend us, above to watch over us, and within to give us peace.
With protection like that, we have nothing to fear. So what stops us from trusting in God and moving forward toward the dreams and desires He has placed in us? I cannot answer that for you. But I do know this… we cannot let our enemy, Satan, discourage us to give up! We can either stay fully bound up in our past, continue to whine and complain, throw pity parties, and blame everything and everyone for our miseries or we can trust God and walk into the destiny that He has already planned for each one of us.
Lori Wriston is the co-founder of Valor Ministries, a non-profit who helps low income residents of Washington County, MD, reach self-sufficiency. She brings her unique insight of business, church and non-profit management experience together for the greatest effectiveness of the organization. As a motivational speaker and teacher, she reveals the real life struggles and circumstances she overcame and encourages others to do the same. She shares the Good News that no situation is too great for God. Lastly, her entrepreneurial spirit motivates her to mentor others to launch their own ministries or non-profits.