The Red Sea. What a pivotal moment in Moses' life. Can you picture him standing there at the edge of that great big watery expanse? What might have been running through his mind? As I read through the latter half of Exodus 13 and on through 14, a few defined principles came to mind. I like them because they not only serve as good reminders about God's character, but they are also wonderful points to recall when it comes to Doing Hard Things.
-God's way isn't necessarily easier. After the Exodus, He lead the Israelites the long way around instead of through the Philistine country, which was shorter. (Exodus 13:17-18)
As rebelutionaries, it's evident that doing hard things isn't easy. God's way isn't always the smoothest, but it is always better.
-God is always there. He guided the Israelites with a pillar of cloud during the day, and a pillar of fire by night. Isaiah 30:21 reads "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"
Even when we feel like we're taking on a task alone, God is right beside us every step of the way. We can trust in God's faithfulness!
-God's will is right. Nothing happens that is beyond His control. He may allow or even orchestrate certain set-backs (i.e. the hardening of Pharoah's heart in 14:4) but His plan is always perfect. Furthermore, he desires himself to be glorified despite roadblocks. ("But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." in 14:4.)
Sometimes our hard things may not work out. We need to understand that what "He opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open." (Revelation 3:7) His will is the best for us, even if we don't see that until later.
-God calls us to rely on His strength and not panic. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine that Moses could never part the Red Sea on his own. There, at that moment, when his role as leader was put to the test, God commanded him to lift his staff and stretch out his hand...He would do the rest.
Hard Things are kind of like the Red Sea. They can be menacing, intimidating, impossible...you name it. It's easy for us to sometimes look at the big picture and give in to fear when we see Pharoah's chariots racing after us. In those moments, we need to step back and give all our fears and abilities to God, trusting Him to move in the ways He sees fit.
So what about you? What's the Red Sea in your life? Maybe it's little in comparison to a huge body of water, but that doesn't necessarily mean it requires less trust in the Lord. Maybe your sea will require little steps...small leaps of faith, instead of one huge jump. Whatever the case, you can be sure to expect a hard journey, but one that will be full of God's strength, will, and presence.