The Israelites left Egypt, all its four-hundred-years of slavery and hardship and brokenness. They followed God. They really, really did. He was leading them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
And God led them right to the edge of a sea, and in the distance they saw the army of Egypt coming after them. This was worse than slavery. Instead of hard labor, they were going to be slaughtered in the wilderness.
When my husband and I were contacted about adopting a little unborn baby last year, we prayed long and hard. We asked for specific leading from God. All of our wants and fears and hopes were a tangled mess. We had no desire to proceed with an adoption that was not the Lord’s will.
And He led us.
He led us right into the middle of something harder than anything I had ever faced.
During the 12 days of Annie’s life, as we waded through the paperwork and calls to the lawyer and trips to the NICU and our older daughter’s confusion, I kept coming back to the question. God, was this really You?
Could He have possibly led us to this place– with a sea in front of us and an army behind us?
I didn’t sleep much during those 12 days, and the late night hours were spent in deep prayer. Prayer for my baby’s life, prayer for my older daughter’s understanding, prayer for strength.
God met me. In the place of my greatest weakness– physically, emotionally & spiritually– He provided everything I needed to survive. He was my Bread of Life, my Living Water. He held me and spoke comfort into my darkness.
For the Israelites– He provided a way through the sea. A great wind came and blew through the middle and rushed the water up on all sides. A miracle.
For us– He provided a way through the sorrow. His Spirit rested in us, on our home, in our hearts. When Annie left this earth, He did not. Instead, He sat right with us as we mourned.
For the Israelites– He revealed His protection, His love, His Shekinah Glory.
For us– He revealed His power, His love, His never-ending presence.
We will all face hard things, whether we follow God or not. But for so many, it feels like betrayal when the hard things are there because God led you right into them.
Maybe you are facing this today. Maybe you walked right after God and now there is a sea in front of you and an army coming behind you. Maybe you are at your very weakest– physically, emotionally, spiritually.
Know this, today: He will use this hard thing to show you Himself. He will use this thing to show others Himself.
And whether the water’s part, or the army descends, or your heart breaks in sorrow, He will never leave your side.
You are not alone, nor will you ever be, if you are choosing Him.
And He is more than enough for any army, any sea, any sorrow.
photo credit: Zachary Siegrist