Yesterday on the way to the office, I met a woman. She was standing on the corner, cardboard sign in hand –”Homeless…” It was not yet 8 a.m. I stopped, asked if she had eaten, and found she had not. A few minutes later I stopped back with something for each of us, and handed her a bag with breakfast along with a cup of orange juice.
We talked for a few minutes, and as she shared, I reflected on the undercurrents of the trauma and abuse she had experienced. There was no doubt this dear woman had been wounded and was still hurting, and as we talked I affirmed her value, and could see the tears welling up in her eyes as I pointed her to a place of help and safety.
Just think of the children of Israel, standing on the seashore, having just fled Egypt where they had been subjected to years of slavery and mistreatment. They too knew abuse, and had experienced a rather traumatic departure from the place they’d called home. They knew they were in dire need of rescue, with the sea in front, and armies behind, and they were afraid.
God commanded Moses to lead this people forward, and they went through the sea on dry ground. Wow! What a miracle! Not only that; then Pharaoh’s chariots and armies attempted to cross, and were swallowed up by the sea.
So pause with me for just a moment. Think about standing beyond the miracle, in a place beyond the reach of Pharaoh and his armies. Where would your gaze be?
Miriam and Moses each break into songs of praise! (Exodus 15:1-21) They recount what God had done. These are songs of celebration, of testimonies to God’s mighty acts and of his goodness. They do not dwell on the suffering or slavery, at least not here. The focus is God’s character, his relationship and love toward the people he had chosen as his own, and on his powerful acts on their behalf.
So in the midst of this day, might I encourage you to lift up your eyes beyond the “sea” of oppression, difficulties and pain that you may experience or see around you? Look to the Mighty One, the God of Israel who can part the sea in his timing. Fix your eyes on him, cry out to him, and praise him with great joy when you see his care for you and those around you.
God, you are the Mighty One who delivers! Help me to always look to you for help when I’m overwhelmed by circumstances, and to joyfully praise you as I see your mighty acts. Amen.
Consider This: Where have you seen God work in your life or on your behalf? Where do you see him working around you? Find someone to share it with today. In fact, we’d love to hear about it too, if you’d like to share!