Last Saturday I was reading in the book of Exodus where the children of Israel were led by God through the Red Sea. For those of you who may not remember, Moses and the Jews left Egypt after God killed the first-born of everyone in the land (Ex. 12:29-32). Knowing that the Israelites weren’t ready for battle the Lord led them to banks of the Red Sea so they would be forced to rely on Him (Ex. 14:13-14).
Moses stretched out his hand over the water and the entire Red Sea parted so the Jews could walk safely over, but the Egyptians where all drowned in the waters (Ex. 14:26-28). I find it fascinating that the people of Israel worshipped God immediately following this victory (Ex.15:1-21) but a few days later where complaining and grumbling about not having water to drink (Ex. 15:22-24).
I am thankful God had Moses put these verses in Exodus chapter fifteen because our lives are a lot like the experiences of Israel.
Last week I shared with you that there are some financial needs in my ministry. The business account where all the extra expenses come from was down to having $100 in it, which definitely wouldn’t cover all my needs…especially since my mother and father are coming to visit in three weeks. Saturday evening the Lord led me to check my account with Baptist Mid Missions to see if any new gifts had come in.
I really didn’t want to since most of the time gifts only come at the beginning of the month, but decided it wouldn’t hurt to check. At the very bottom was the receipt for a gift of $500 that had come in Thursday evening.
Suddenly I felt like the children of Israel after they had walked through the Red Sea! Was even tempted to get a tambourine and start dancing around the house like Miriam the sister of Moses but decided not too. By the way please don’t type “Baptist minister dancing tambourine” into youtube.
Okay seriously did any of you guys really just do that?
However like the Jews I went from the place of rejoicing to a place of testing. For Israel this was a land called Marah which had no water (Ex. 15:22-23), I experienced a different challenge. Have you ever had one of those depressing days? That was Monday afternoon for me.
It wasn’t really a huge thing that discouraged me but tons of small stuff. The fact that Melbourne’s weather consisted of rain+wind+cold+did I mention the wind didn’t do a lot to encourage me. I found myself at about 6:00 with a cup of tea asking God why I had to feel so depressed.
It was then that the Lord reminded me that only forty-eight hours earlier I was ready to run around the house praising God, and like the Jews when experiencing my Marah the Red Sea experience was completely forgotten…as if it never happened.
God does bring those Red Sea experiences into our lives when He provides in an amazing way. But we must remember those times of blessing, because Marah is just around the corner. The depressing day, the loss of a friendship, financial issues, dealing with failure, and a number of other things can take our eyes off the glorious experience we had just a few days before.
Many times when God is leading us through the Red Sea we forget that Marah is part of his plan too, but it is. The Lord desires that we rely on Him instead of ourselves that means those depressing and discouraging days must come. However we can be thankful that God will fill our hearts with hope in Marah when the Red Sea experience is in our minds and hearts.