When it All Catches Up

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.



  1. stephanie says:

    Please pray for me as I continue in obedience after my husband’s infidelity. I will obey God even though my heart hurts terribly.

    1. Praying God’s grace and comfort for you, Stephanie. Find a Christian counselor and go even if he won’t. Kay Arthur’s book “Lord, Heal My Hurts” helped me. I know how much it hurts, but I also know God will carry you through this.

    2. Lynn Cowell says:

      Thank you so much for trusting us to share your hurt, Stephanie! Jesus, Your heart breaks for and with Stephanie. Her heart of obedience blesses You so much! Be the husband she needs right now, Jesus. Not because her’s has been unfaithful, but because You are perfect love and fill each and every one of our broken hearts. We were made to be filled by You…and we need it so desperately! Thank you for Your faithfulness, Lord. Amen

  2. Please pray for godly companionship/husband, fellowship/community, purpose.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Jesus, you see the need Nancy has. You created us to need relationship. Thank you that You do fill our hearts with Perfect Love. May Nancy experience that unconditional, crazy love from You she desperately needs and may You also bring godly people into her life as well. Reveal her purpose, that of being Your companion and love and from there, may she pour out of her abundance to others. Amen!

  3. Thanks so much, Lynn! I’m thankful for the recent relatively calm period in my life but just this morning my vehicle won’t start (hoping it’s just the cold) and a lawyer’s appt. next week that could lead to an unpleasant confrontation and long battle.

    I can attest to God’s promise to provide for us; He has been faithful to me and to my business for several years, even when bills were coming in.

    And I know He will be faithful to me now, whatever is ahead.

    Thank you so much for sharing your gift for writing; it is so encouraging!

    And may God bless you and your family and your work in 2014!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, Shelly! May you continue to see God’s faithfulness in every area of your life, even through the very difficult times. So be it, Jesus!

  4. Optimistic Mom says:

    Pray for me to be able to “be still” when it comes to my daughter’s recent marriage to a man that is 27 years her senior that has two ex wives, three adult children, 4 dwi arrests and has been arrested for beating his ex wife. God has blessed our family in so many ways, even when we could not see the positive end result at first. I know I need to bite my tongue and let God’s will be done, while I continue to pray that God opens her eyes.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Oh friend! What a test! What an encouragement you are to me…you know what God requires of you and your heart is to obey!
      Jesus, Your Holy Spirit fills my friend and the fruit of Your Spirit is self-control. Empower her to press into You for that self-control to overflow from You through her and to her family. You, in her, can do it! Thank you for being all we need King Jesus! Amen

  5. Thank you so much for praying over Anna and Abigail at the beginning of this school year. With prayer, counseling, and the right medicine, Anna Leigh made it through the first semester of school…and with good grades. Abigail had a rough time with “mean girls” and even a horrible episode with her good friends. She chose to forgive her friends, but she has realized that they don’t share her values. Both of my girls attended Chrysalis during Thanksgiving break, and they said it was the most awesome thing they have ever experienced. Abby met girls who share her values and faith…and will be at the same college this fall! I know that your prayers and those of others who posted and read my comment played a huge part in all of this. Therefore, I’m asking again for prayer. We are trying to move into town and rent my grandmother’s house from my sister and brother-in-law. I know this will be a good move for my girls, but financially I don’t know how I’m going to make it work. The home we are in now has so many things that need to be repaired, is 30 minutes from town, and with the deer and bad curves, the road is not one I want Abby traveling daily. Please pray for us that if this move is in God’s plan for us, that all things will come together for us. Thank you so much for your prayers and for using your gift of writing to bless others…and my girls and me!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, Jody!

      And Jesus, thank you so very very much for answering Jody’s prayers! You have come alongside her and made it clear You are her provider! As Your children, we ask for help again! If this move to town is in Your plan for her family, please give her wisdom and clarity and for all things to come together for them. We know as our Father, you are always taking care of us and working all things for our good and Your glory! Amen

  6. Lynn,

    We recently had a concert at the church and the up and coming group Finding Favour was part of the tour.
    Please listen to their song Hero about prayer warriors. Thank you for being a hero for me and others and know that I will be your hero today.

    Their song I AM is another great song . Part of the lyrics are:

    I watch you breathing
    And I hear you singing
    I feel your heart beat and I know every pain
    That you’re feeling
    And I am the comfort when you are afraid
    I am the refuge when you call my name
    I was, I’ll be, I am

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      You are such a sweet friend, Nita! Thank you for your prayers for me and my family! I am praying for you 🙂

  7. I will say that my life is in a multi direction mode trying to be still and wait for God’s direction, guidance and provision. I’m not sure how to summarize but will give a try,,,,,I lost my job in Nov 2012 and have been searching for employment during this time. My family had moved far from family for the job that was lost. We put our house for sale and God blessed us with the relief of that burden selling the house 10 months later. Our relocation back to our home state led to my daughter changing school upon end of Christmas break. She seems to be managing better than my husband and I, she was ready to move closer to family.
    My struggle, as a woman of faith and trying to start a ministry is that I am daily questioning, doubting, trying to understand what God is doing in our life. I have spent the past week getting us settled in a smaller rent house and my daughter started in a new school. In this time my internal struggle has grown,,,,,,because I have not been close to the Word. Thank you for the reminder of His direction.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Melinda, there seems to be so many times in our lives when we have no clue what God is doing. It isn’t until much later, when we look back, that hopefully we see His hand and know He was at work in our behalf the whole time. As my friend Lysa TerKeurst says, this is the season not for us to ask God “Why?” but “What now?” You seem to be doing just that!

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