Inspirational Sunday

"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today...The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Exodus 14:14

Rae's Thought: Have you ever tried to get an antsy or hyper child to stay still? Let me tell you, it's not an easy task. You may succeed for a few seconds, but then, they go right back to moving around. It's like they absolutely cannot stay still.

The Israelites were a little like antsy kids, but in a slightly different sense. Their antsy-ness came in the form of worrying and complaining. During their exodus out of Egypt - actually, a little before they left - they complained constantly, forgetting about miracles God had just performed earlier. God succeeded in keeping them still for a little bit, but every time they came up against a major obstacle, what did they do? Worry and complain. They have just witnessed the 10 plagues and are set free after years of slavery. They're celebrating and praising God. Much to their chagrin, Pharaoh has changed his mind. He and his army go after the Israelites, ready to bring them back into slavery. They've got Pharaoh and his mighty army behind them, desert on both sides, and the Red Sea in front. A major obstacle, wouldn't you say? They can go towards Pharaoh and end up slaves again. They can go sideways and end up starving in the desert. They can go forward and end up drowning. What did they do? Complain. This is where Exodus 14:14 comes in.

Like an antsy child, it's difficult for humans to be still. We live in a time when everything is about movement...we're always on the go. We live very fast-paced lives and can't stand anything that slows us down or, worse, makes us stop. Even when some of us are faced with obstacles, we either try to figure things out ourselves or constantly worry and complain. Be still? Impossible! And yet, in Exodus 14:14, God tells us all we need to do is be still.

What happened when the Israelites stayed still and let God be God? He made a way for them by parting the Red Sea. They were able to walk across the sea floor - on dry ground - with the sea on both sides. It wasn't some small pond they was a sea: miles and miles long, thousands of feet deep. How awesome is that? And, as soon as Pharaoh's whole army was on ground, God allowed the waters to come crashing back.

My brother gave an illustration today that I thought was just awesome. He said one day, while walking, he looked by the bayou and saw white birds (maybe swans) standing near the water. Fish and tadpoles swam by them, but these birds did not move. What were they doing? Waiting til the food (fish and tadpoles) came to them. When the food came, they ate then went right back to standing. They weren't running around going after the food...they just stood there and waited.

Sometimes in life, we have to stand and wait, like those birds. When the birds stood still, the food came to them. What could have happened if they'd run off, worrying about how they'll eat? They could have ended up missing out on what God had in store for them. We have to be still, knowing that God will fight for us. Refusal to stay still could result in our missing the miracles God has in store. When an obstacle comes your way, don't be afraid or complain. Be still and get ready to receive your victory in Jesus Christ.