To be brutally honest, I DID NOT WANT to do it. The idea of moving my three happy, settled, teenagers out of a home we all loved, away from everyone they knew, and out of schools they were doing well in, did not appeal. Not at all. Yet my husband felt God was calling him to bible college. And this was the one year when all of the kids were between school levels, so making it just possible without interrupting course work. If it had been the previous year, I think I would have held out on him. I’d loved my job. Shifting me from that too would not have gone well. But that job had finished, and I’d moved on to another one I … well let’s say I was not quite as happy in, and leave it at that! So the choice of moving forward did not seem quite so daunting after all…and yes, we went.
What was God playing at with the Israelites? (Exodus 14:1-12) They were following him across the desert parts of Egypt, finding a route out of the country, quick, before Pharaoh changed his mind and recaptured them. Suddenly they took a turn, and found themselves facing the sea, with no place to go. Then, horror of horrors, the Egyptian army were spotted closing them in. Trapped, sitting ducks. Had God set them up? In a way, yes. The route God had chosen for them was going to be a walk on the wild side – through two walls of water. In any other circumstance, I’m sure they’d have refused point blank to put their children, flocks, and everything they held dear one step onto that sea bed. Yet it was the best way. In fact, it was the only way.
God was making sure that this people, whom he had liberated so amazingly from their slavery, was not going back there. For one, the Egyptian army that might have recaptured them were about to be annihilated. And for two, once they had crossed that sea, there would be no way back. Whatever the struggles of the way forward, they were not going back to being slaves. They were going to be conquerors of the Promised Land.
So when you find yourself in an unenviable situation, trapped with disaster looming and no way forward, or feel that God has set you up to fail, it could just be that something really wonderful is just round the corner. Maybe God knows you need a bit of pressure to take the next step. Who wants to go forward when life is cosy where you are? God calls us to be conquerors, not comfortable.
John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”