The world is full of uncertainty. The wicked prosper and suffering swirls around us.
He is certain. Secure. Faithful. Unchanging. Wise. Gracious. Powerful. Good.
God also knows our limits. He draws us just close enough to the edge to prove we cannot do it on our own and force us into reliance on Him. But, He is also a gentle, compassionate God that knows when we need to heal, to be protected and shielded, when we need a break.
Sometimes that break might look haphazard. It might look like taking the long way around. It might not feel easy in the moment. Israel had just come out of slavery. 400 years of it. What was their mental health like in those days? They didn’t have the law. Likely their understanding of God was a bit tainted and for some nearly non-existent.
Looking back, we think they should have been awed at the power God showed through the 10 plagues and their release from Egypt. But, likely, they were struggling to make sense of it all. Maybe hesitant to trust this domineering Being that killed first-born children. He knew they needed a clean break from Egypt and a rest before the battle. So, He took them the long way.
17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” (Exodus 13:17 ESV)
And, all along the way He reinforced His love for them. His strength upheld them and His outstretched arm drew them close.
3 Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place. (Exodus 13:3a)
Life as a believer is uncertain at times. It is not carefree. We experience struggles to make us stronger to face the next one. We suffer as a testimony for others. We experience pain to teach us to trust. And, sometimes we go through incredible trials for no humanly-obvious reason at all.
8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 . . . But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 . . . On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer . . . (2 Corinthians 1:8-11 ESV)
But God. You know, the One who raises the dead?
We can cry out in prayer. We can help our brothers and sisters in prayer. And the God of the universe will establish us in Christ. Not a guarantee of comfort or ease, but a seal of assurance for eternity.
21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
Gentle Father, help me not let my eyes stray to the trouble that threatens around me, but rather to rest in your security and stability. Help me trust Your plan to stretch me when I need stretching and to teach me ever increasing reliance on You. In Jesus Name, Amen.