Sunday, June 9, 2013

Trusting a God Who Can Part Seas

"Some days we will be miraculously led out of Egypt—seemingly free, seemingly on our way—only to come to yet another confrontation, like all that water lying before us. At those times we must resist the temptation to panic and give up. At those times fear will be the strongest of the adversary’s weapons against us....Nobody had ever crossed the Red Sea this way, but so what? There’s always a first time. With the spirit of revelation, dismiss your fears and wade in with both feet." (source)

The story of Moses plays an important role in my own faith.

If you're not familiar, the story of Moses goes like this: born an Israelite, adopted by Egyptian royalty, figures it out later and flees Egypt, joins a desert tribe, God calls him to go back and set the Israelites free from bondage to Egyptian royalty, his request is rejected multiple times by Pharaoh (his adoptive brother) (awkward), plagues commence, Pharaoh lets them go, Pharaoh gets angry and chases after them with his army, Moses and his people are standing next to the Red Sea with that huge army closing in on them, and then...

God parts a sea.

I've thought a lot about Moses the last few weeks. Was he afraid when God called him to go back to Egypt? Or when he had to ask Pharaoh (repeatedly) to let his people go? When he saw the army coming? When he stood at the water's edge with an entire nation watching and leaning on him for guidance?

In the bible's words: "And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."

Do I think Moses was afraid? Yes, I do. Or he at least felt the weight of the situation and saw the fear of his people. But I think he trusted God more than he trusted his fear. His faith was bigger than his worries about not being able to see a way out. So Moses set his fear aside and asked God what he should do.

And at the water's edge, God said, "Go forward."

I've always loved this story. But I also especially love the story of Joshua, a prophet who came later. Joshua found himself in a similar situation, with his feet at the edge of the water and no foreseeable way to get across.

Earlier, God told Joshua, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee....Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

When Joshua faced his own watery obstacle, he remembered Moses and he remembered God's promise. And God said to him, "When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan....And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap."

Trusting God and trusting the testimony of Moses, Joshua led the priests to get their feet wet. And then, they "stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan."

Both of these stories mean the world to me. I admire the faith of Moses in the middle of a frightening situation, with no example to rely on because he would be the first to part a sea. I admire the faith of Joshua in believing the story of Moses and trusting God's promises enough to wade in before the water parted. I also admire the priests for trusting Joshua's faith and direction from God when they, for all we know, didn't have promises of their own.

And me? I can also wade in with both feet before the water parts. I can also "go forward" at the water's edge, because I also have a God who can part seas.


debrajo said...

Beautiful insights! Thank you.

SaraM said...

I love this! I love that faith conquers all fear and leads to stunning miracles! This post is perfect!


Maggie B. said...

I often think of the story of Moses, especially as I continue my journey to get out of my own Egypt. Sometimes I feel like I've moved out for good, but then other times I'm right back in the middle of it, questioning everything and angry all the time.

Trusting in God is both the most difficult thing I've ever done and the best decision I continue to make every single day.

Ann-Marie said...

Thank you for this incredible post. "I also have a God who can part seas" As someone who has recently been in your shoes...I moved myself from UT to VA about 7 months ago. All on my own as a single 31 year old Mormon girl because it was time for a change. Has it been scary? Yes, at times. Have I wanted to go back to the life I'd known in Provo for the past 10 years? More than once, but it has also been an incredible journey so far. I've stretched and grown and am continually living out my mantra "I can do hard things" And I can! Best of luck on your new journey!