Monday, July 04, 2005

Surviving the Red Sea

The Lord will make a way for you where no foot has been before
That which, like a sea, threatens to drown you, shall be a highway of escape.

- Charles H. Spurgeon

If i have not been updating my blog for quite a long while -- forgive me. I have been, and still am, on a long journey. This journey has forced me to face life's cruel realities and has taken me to and from several hopeless situations. I guess, as Jennie has told me recently, it is just a season that I am in. And like any season, it too shall end to make way to a new and better one.

I recently read this book by Robert J. Morgan called the Red Sea Rules, which talks about how the same God that led His people into the Red Sea, led them out of it as well. The promise is true to us and our situations today in life as well. The same God who allowed us to be in this current problem, this ongoing trial, this seemingly never-ending adversity, is the same God who will lead us out of it. The reality of the Red Sea event, as Morgan puts it, is -- God will always make a way for His tired, yet TRUSTING, children, even if He must split the sea to do it. In my case, God has provided me with every single means to comfort and uplift me through these trying times, and He has done so in the form of simple and joyful circumstances or through very well-meaning and supportive friends who have never failed to stop praying for me and my family (you all know who you are -- God bless you!). He never promised He would remove us from our current situation nor did he say he would take away the problem, but He does promise that He will never leave us and that He will see us through till the end of the problem. So right now, my circumstances have still not changed, but at least I am filled with the hope, encouragement and comfort that God sends my way for me to endure despite the trials.

For anyone who may be going through a really tough time in their life right now, if it is your season of dryness or despair, or if tomorrow seems unclear for you and you are in a state of being lost and confused, Robert Morgan gives us 10 Rules on how to survive life's difficulties and uncertainties based on the story of the Red Sea:

RULE #1:
Realize that God means for you to be where you are.
RULE #2:
Be more concerned for God's glory than for your relief.
RULE #3:
Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.
RULE #4:
RULE #5:
Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work.
RULE #6:
When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith.
RULE #7:
Envision God's enveloping presence
RULE #8:
Trust God to deliver in His own unique way.
RULE #9:
View your current crisis as a faith builder for the future.
RULE #10:
Don't forget to praise him - always!

I now face each day less overwhelmed because I now try taking smaller steps and deal with the challenges that come bit by bit, part by part. As I continue on this journey to the Red Sea, I am at least prepared to face it without the fear of drowning. I hold on to the promise that my God will lead me out -- safely and a much stronger person.

When you don't know what to do next, cast out fear and seek light for the next step. Trust God for guidance in small increments; taking the journey one footprint at a time. If you can't see what lies dimly in the distance, do what lies clearly at hand.


The White Rabbit said...

Moses and the Red Sea--how perfect! The story of Moses holds so many lessons for us in this age. I just want to share my heart again with you at this moment.

Chapter Five of a great book I found years ago on Moses by Charles Swindoll is entitled "The Desert: School of Self-Discovery".
It says...

It may help you to know that the Hebrew word for "desert" is midbaar. It's from the word dahbaar, meaning "to speak". Let me draw from that root term and suggest that the desert is the place where God speaks, where He communicates some of His most important messages to us.

Apart from that desert experience, you and I might live out our lives without ever hearing or knowing what the God of the universe desires to tell us. The wilderness-like desert changes that. In that lonely place, you find yourself stripped of all things you hang on to for comfort--all the stuff you felt you needed through life but really didn't need at all.

"He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for Him, he guarded him as the pupil of His eye."

Deuteronomy 32:10

Isolation is always part of the wilderness experience. Never forget that. Once God finds the desert that you need, he ushers you off the bus and drives away. At least it seems that way. And the instant feeling you get is, God's gone! Where is He? He's left me in this place!

In the midst of this painful experience, you find you are no longer able to do things you once were able to do. Fear sets in. You say to yourself: I'm going to lose my gifts. I'm going to lose my usefulness. I'm forgotten! God's left me behind. Time is running out. Opportunities are passing me by. I'll never get out of this place.

Before we give in to feelings of abandonment, however, we need to take a closer, more personal look at this verse in Deuteronomy. In the "howling waste of a wilderness", God does four things.

First, He ENCIRCLES us. Second, He CARES for us. Third, He GUARDS US AS THE PUPIL OF HIS EYE. Isn't that beautiful? When you think about it, you realize the pupil of your eye is the most protected part of your body. You won't let anything touch it. You shield it with great care. You safeguard it from the sun. You care for it constantly.

In the desert, YOU are the pupil of God's eye. And to your own amazement, you will ultimately discover that God has neither abandoned nor forsaken you. He has been caring for you more than at any other time of your life. Let that thought encourage you.

The fourth thing He does is to GUIDE us. Whether you have known it or not, felt it or not, even believed it or not, God has not taken His hand off your life.

Jesus went through the worst desert of all for you. He walked through the desert first. He felt its heat. He tasted its loneliness. He accepted its obscurity. And He will never, ever forget or forsake the one who follows Him across the sand...

Chrixean said...

thanks, Jen!:-)