When our kids were younger we often used to go out to a place called Ribchester. It wasn’t far from where we lived, but there was some really good play equipment, playing fields, nice walks around a lovely old church, and of course a Roman museum. If you know anything about English history, you’ll know the ‘chester’ bit gives a place away as having Roman origins. So it was the ideal place for a Sunday afternoon. The kids could let off steam in the play areas, while my husband and I could take a wander, but never very far away from them. And we ALWAYS took flasks of tea and coffee. Huge flasks. Of course the five of us could get through a fair bit of the stuff, but as well as that, lots of our friends used to go to Ribchester too on a Sunday afternoon. And they knew we had plenty of supplies! They knew where to land up for a decent brew in the middle of the playing fields!
Moses had committed murder. (Exodus2:15-22) He’d hoped to keep it secret, but the story was out, and Pharaoh was after his him. There was nothing to do but run away. There’s no way of knowing exactly how far he ran, but he was unprepared for the journey, maybe not even carrying a water bottle. No wonder the first place he felt safe to sit down was by a well. He was probably exhausted, and desperately in need of refreshment.
Being a man, however, his strength soon revived at the sight of seven pretty ladies! The Egyptian culture he had been brought up in saw women as more or less equal to men, and Moses’ respect for these girls made him a handsome prospective husband. No wonder their father Reuel was quick to partner him of with one of his beloved daughters! So Midian became for Moses a place of rest, a refuge.
There have been times when we’ve felt ‘set aside’; with little opportunity for Christian fellowship, and there have been times when we’ve been at the hub of all that is going on, where others have come to us for refreshment. We have to trust God in how he leads us. He knows our needs, and he knows how to prepare us for the work he has for us to do. The important thing is that whether lonely or surrounded, we learn how to ‘joyfully draw water from the wells of salvation’ (Isaiah 12:3) . God is our refuge. He is the one who can give us all we need. He is the one we must draw near to. He is the one our strength comes from.