It was the thick of the night. The Israelites – hundreds of thousands of them – were huddled at the edge of the sea. Behind them, the Egyptians had closed in. The only thing separating the two camps was a cloud of fire. Normally the cloud was in front of the people, leading them. But on this night, it was behind them, protecting them.
The people were panicking, but God had a plan. He told Moses to raise his rod over the water. As Moses did so, the wind picked up and the waves rose higher and higher. A path appeared through the middle of the sea, flanked by high walls of water.
With the enemy pressing in close behind, the people had no choice but to move forward.
There was no light to lead them because the cloud of fire was behind them. They walked by faith into the middle of the sea, into the heart of darkness.
Although the hand of God was at work, it seemed to the human eye that the fierce east wind was the only thing keeping the waves from sweeping the Israelites away. The strong winds would have whipped their clothes and hair and made it difficult to speak and even more difficult to walk. The people were probably thinking, If the wind lets up even a little, the water will surely come crashing down and we’ll drown.
By the time the Israelites reached the other side, it was sunrise. They had been awake for a good 24 hours. They must have been physically and emotionally exhausted.
But they made it.
Have you ever been in a situation where there doesn’t seem to be a way out? Your problems are closing in behind you. There is no light to lead the way. You are walking through a storm and, on either side, walls of water threaten to crash over you at any moment. You can’t see the hand of God, although you know He must be at work. It is hard not to be afraid. Your faith is weak. You are tired. You wonder if you will ever make it through.
God had a reason for taking Israelites through that terrifying situation. He wanted to silence the enemy once and for all. How they must have cheered as, safe on the other side, they watched the waves sweep their pursuers away! Yes indeed, God had a reason for taking the Israelites through that sea.
Whatever it is that you’re going through; God has a reason for taking you through it too. He is with you even when it feels like He isn’t. He was with the Israelites and He is with you. He delivered His people back then and He’ll deliver you.
It wasn’t until they were on the other side of the sea that the Israelites saw God’s plan. Someday, you’ll see it too. God doesn’t take us into the wilderness so we can die. He takes us through the wilderness so He can bring us into the promise.
So don’t give up! Keep fighting! Keep pressing on! Keep believing! Keep trusting!
And when you feel hopeless, remember this:
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God.” (Isaiah 43:2-3a)