Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:12-14)
There’s a song by Sara Groves that I just love called, Painting Pictures of Egypt. I love the way she takes the story of the Israelites from Exodus and uses it to capture that moment in life when you need to trust God and leave the status quo behind. Some people might refer to it as stepping outside your comfort zone. Whatever you call it, it boils down to one thing: change.
Change can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be overwhelming and scary. And, because of that, sometimes we are not as quick to embrace the new that awaits us, even if it’s going to be amazing. As a result, sometimes we rationalize ourselves into staying put.
This really isn’t so bad.
I just need a little more time.
Maybe if I just had a better attitude, this would be better.
But that’s not true.
Consider these words from Sara Groves’ song:
The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy to discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
Caught between the promise
And the things I know
Have you ever felt that way?
Familiar things are comfortable and they don’t require much of us. Or so we think.
Because familiar things, comfortable things, things that are good but not amazing, tend to drain us emotionally, spiritually and even physically. When you’re in a just-getting-by-and-existing mode, have you ever noticed how tired you feel.
It’s like being an Israelite crying out to Moses, Oh, just let me stay here and be a slave no matter how much I complained about it.
Wandering through the desert didn’t feel like much of a change. In fact, it felt worse. Sara Groves’ summed it up this way in her song:
The place I was wasn’t perfect
But I had found a way to live
It wasn’t milk or honey
But then neither is this
But what I love about this story in Exodus, and what I love about God, is that the Israelites weren’t expected to do anything except be still. They needed to trust and they needed to heed, they needed to rely on God, but they didn’t need to fight the Egyptians or any of their enemies. God defeated their enemies.
And they didn’t need to forage for their own food or water. God provided them water and quail and manna. Enough for each day.
But more importantly, God led them. He guided them through their wilderness.
Are you facing a wilderness today?
Is there a something new calling you out of your Egypt today? A dream. A relationship. A new job. A Do Over?
Whatever it is, here’s the Good News: you don’t need to be afraid of what lies ahead. What doesn’t seem promising to you from where you’re standing holds more promise than you could possibly imagine. All you need to do is trust Him and stand firm. That’s the first step. I can do that. How about you?
Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.
How will you let God deliver you today?