When it All Catches Up
“The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemenand troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.” Exodus 14:9 (NIV)
Pursued by their enemy, the Egyptians, the Israelites were running hard from trouble but it appeared trouble was going to catch them. Leaving the slavery of Egypt, they were following after God through the wilderness of Sinai: a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. God was leading and they were following. But their obedience to God didn’t stop the enemy from coming after them. As they pursued God, their enemy pursued them. The Egyptians pushed forward to bring them down while God purposed to pull off a miracle.
In an earlier passage, God made His plan clear to His people: “And once again, I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord! So the Israelites camped there as they were told.” (Exodus 13:4) (NLT) Emphasis mine.
God clearly told His people: “I’m allowing what I am allowing to bring Me glory. You do what I’ve called you to do no matter what you see.”
You, too, have seen it coming. While you’ve been running hard after God, out of the corner of your eye you’ve spotted trouble running after you. You’ve done nothing wrong. In fact, like the Israelites running away from the Egyptians, you’ve been obeying God; careful to follow each direction He’s given. Purposing to make wise choices to honor your God you still can’t avert trouble on the way.
Problems in the life of the believer are inevitable; Jesus didn’t try to hide this fact. He told us: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
Troubles can be indicators; telling us it’s time to make a turn. Problems can also be pointers; showing us what God is about to do.
In our lives, God is allowing what God is allowing to bring Him glory; no matter what we see. Like the Israelites, when trouble is catching up, we must do as we are told.
You see your child running from God. Like the Israelites, do as you’re told: pray and trust God. (Matthew 9:37 – 38)
You see your finances running short whiles bills pour in. Do as you’re told: honor God first with what you have. (Malachi 3:10)
You see your marriage dry and lifeless. Do as you’re told: honor and respect your husband. (Ephesians 5:33)
Then, follow the next instruction Moses’ gave to the Israelites: “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today…The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Exodus 14:13 – 14) (NLT)
Just stay calm. Sounds so easy, but we know it is not. Our feelings scream at us to do something; fix it our way. Keep the trouble at bay a little bit longer. But if we will instead do as we are told, we will find the strength to just stay calm when the trouble catches up to us. Though our hearts will break and we may feel like we will not come through all in one piece, we can reflect on His faithfulness to the Israelites and know, in the end, He will be faithful again.
Prayer: Lord, my troubles are right behind me and I feel at any moment they will overtake me. I know your Holy Spirit lives within me, empowering me to not be afraid, to just stand still and watch you rescue me today. Help me to stay calm and just for today, to do what You have told me to do. Thank you for being here for me because I need you so. Amen
As always, I am writing today with trouble over my shoulder. Some of us have trouble in our lives we are facing alone. Is this you? Ask the Lord to show you today someone who can pray with you and encourage you as you “do as you are told.” I would be happy to be that person for you! If you will share in the comments below, I will pray for you today as you “do as you are told.”
Maybe you have a friend who is facing trouble, let her know today that you will stand with her as she does what she is told.