"All the Night...."
Recently I was reading Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow, and this phenomenon surprised me once again. The chapter was entitled, Faith: The Foundation. In a short chapter Linda shares the basic concepts of understanding how to have faith as the foundation for everything and anything else in one`s life. Much of her writing resonated with me and confirmed many things I already believe. But in the middle she shared a story from the Bible that rocked my world. A story I am very familiar with. Well, most of us are.
The story is found in Exodus 14. The Israelites, under the leadership of Moses, have fled Egypt and are on their way out of captivity. Instead of taking the Israelites by way of the Philistines, he takes them around by the way of the wilderness towards the Red Sea. (Exodus 13:17-18) I can just imagine, because I do it all the time, even yesterday, thinking God what are you doing? You are taking us through this incredible land of wilderness, way out of the way, just to get us to the Red Sea? What are you doing?
And of course, God urged them to trust. Chapter 14 opens with the Lord telling Moses, ahead of time, encamp here, facing the sea. Pharaoh will say "The Israelites are wandering and the wilderness has shut them in." I will harden his heart and he will pursue you, and I will get glory over him and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I AM the LORD. And they did so.
What? Not only is God being direct and serious, but to a human, crazy! He just told them they are all about to get attacked. None of them know when, or how, or what exactly will happen, only that God will prevail and His glory be honored.
I, as well as Linda Dillow, imagine as the sun went down they were all freaking out. Maybe not all, but the majority. In utter darkness they sat-who could fall asleep in that worry?- and waited to be attacked. In verses 10-12, the next day the Israelites reveal their incredible sense of fear and terror to Moses, only to be told, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."
This is incredible story speaking to our faith. And what came next is what really floored me. The truth lies within verse 21, which I have never, ever read in this light. "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided."
Everytime I have read this story, my focus has been on the deliverance of the division of the Red Sea. I have completely missed the part where it says, the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind ALL NIGHT. Through the darkness of fear and terror, God was already working a miracle. They just couldn`t see it.
"Because it was night, they couldn`t see what the "wind of God" was accomplishing on their behalf. God parted the Red Sea, and they walked on dry ground to freedom. Perhaps your life is filled with darkness and you can`t see. Still, God is working, just as He worked "all the night" for the Israelites. The next day simply manifested what God had done during the night. Do not forget, my friend, that God works in the night of your life too." Calm My Anxious Heart
Wow. Amen. What else is there to say. My God is greater, my God is stronger, my God is higher than any other. Awesome in power, my God, my God. In my darkness, he is working. God help me to trust.