10 As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13 But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”
Often, we feel like our choices are impossible ones: we seem forced to pick between two bad options. The people of Israel felt like their choices amounted to staying in Egypt as slaves or dying in the desert at the hands of Pharoah’s army.
With the Red Sea at their backs and Pharoah’s chariots advancing on them, they began to cry out: “Is this all there is? If we’re going to die anyway, why didn’t we just stay where we were?”
When faced with difficult decisions, our fear often drives us to look only at the immediate circumstances. We prioritize short-term pain over long-term possibilities. And so, we become convinced that there are no good options – that the pain we’d have to endure is too great. So we give in to worry and so remain stuck. We are more than happy to turn around and go back to Egypt. Sometimes slavery to our current circumstances seems preferable to the uncertainty of freedom.
But notice this line of the story: “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.” No one imagined what would happen next: that God would part the sea. And yet, that’s exactly what happened.
Whenever you are faced with a situation that seems to have no good resolution, try this: keep still and allow the Lord to fight for you. The possibilities that may emerge might just be greater than anything you ever imagined!
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Have you ever found yourself in a difficult situation where there didn’t seem to be a way out? How did it get resolved? What did you learn about how God works during that time of your life?
Prayer: God, we pray for all those who face difficult decisions, for whom every option seems difficult or even impossible. We pray that you will reveal possibilities, new hopes, and new visions for the future. Be at work in the lives of your children today. Remove our fears and let us be still long enough for you to take up the fight for us. Amen.