Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
Exodus 14:9-25 (NRSV)
The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, his chariot drivers and his army; they overtook them camped by the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.
As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the LORD will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.”
The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.”
We have all heard “Keep Calm and Carry On” or another variation of that phrase. In the same vein, I am reminded of a book I read many years ago with the tag line “Don’t Panic!” Poor Moses, the Israelites were very good at throwing their hands up and screaming “We’re all going to die!”
In this modern world, it can be very hard to stay calm and not give in to uncontrollable fear. So many situation and circumstances in our lives are beyond our control. We live with reports of violence, devastating diagnosis, and the uncertainty of what tomorrow might bring. It is difficult to deal with these things when they become a part of our lives in a personal way. We must remember what Moses told the Israelites in their moments of fear and terror: “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”
God is not only with us, God is on our side. The source of all life and power in the universe is fighting for us.
Dearest God, when my world seems out of control, when I am terrified by what is happening around me, when I am afraid for those I love and uncertain of my future, draw me closer to you. Remind me that you are on my side. Keep me aware that you are always with me and that you give strength and peace that are beyond measure and understanding. Allow the fullness of your love to drive all fear from my heart. Amen.
Go with God.