Be patient when it gets weird. The angels explained things to Joseph after he’d talked to Mary, not before. – Bob Goff
Can anyone else relate?
Three years ago this month, I walked into weird when I stepped into a hospital hallway. A doctor had just told me my mom had fourth stage lung cancer. Another doctor was on the phone, telling me my dad’s cancer had worsened. He had only weeks left. It was overwhelming and scary. We needed a rescue.
I wonder how the Israelites must have felt as they stood facing the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army in hot pursuit? One might say things had gotten weird. Or scary. Or confusing. God led them to it. They didn’t know He would lead them through it. They, too, needed a rescue.
The Hebrew children stepped right into weird. And they were supposed to trust God. When we follow in their footsteps, and face unexpected and frightening circumstances, we are supposed to trust Him too.
His Word tells us in Deuteronomy 31:8, “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
We can trust Him. We either believe that or we don’t.
God showed up in November of 2017 and took care of us all. After my parents’ diagnoses, our family and friends rallied around us. The community held a prayer vigil. We were loved and supported so very well. The Body of Christ ministered to Mom and Dad and our entire family.
Within six short weeks, both of my parents stepped from weird into wonderful and into the arms of Jesus. They experienced the ultimate rescue.
Penned a year ago, yet wholly applicable today, author Kimberly Wagner writes about the Israelites confronting the Red Sea, “…God knew that He would not leave them there. He knew He would continue His rescue operation and that He was about to do something glorious that would serve as a faith-building event for believers for thousands of years—right up to this very moment for those of us revisiting that Red Sea event in our minds right now! God didn’t let them in on what He was doing until they needed to step into the water.”
If the Israelites knew there was a well-defined-zero-chance-of-failure-rescue-plan-of-deliverance-specific-to-their-situation, would they have had to exercise any faith at all?
God had already made Himself abundantly known to His children through plague, pestilence and disaster. He had already pulled off more than one rescue operation. But, He also knew the Red Sea would be an altogether different obstacle for His children. He knew they would doubt. He knew they would be afraid. He knew their faith would falter. Yet, He still delivered them.
Remember Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha? Jesus knew they would despair. He knew they would be anxious. Yet, He still rescued. And Lazarus walked into an all together different kind of weird when he stepped out of the grave.
Consider Queen Esther. Her people were about to be slaughtered. She walked into weird when she stepped in front of the king. God not only rescued her. He rescued an entire nation.
The disciples grew fearful as a storm raged around them on the sea. They didn’t know. They couldn’t see. But Jesus knew He would rescue them. And He did.
Life got weird and scary for Mary and Joseph. An angel visited and a harrowing cross country journey was made. A baby was born. The world was saved.
We’ve been walking around in weird most of this year. And things just got weirder. Which tells me one thing. God is stretching our faith because He’s about do to something that can only be explained by the fact that He did it.
To echo Kimberly Wagner’s words again. “God knew He would not leave them there.” Nor will He leave us here. He didn’t leave the Israelites on the wrong side of the Red Sea. He didn’t leave the disciples in the boat. He didn’t leave Lazarus in the grave.
Is today still scary? And tomorrow still uncertain? Yes and yes. But, take heart. God stretches our faith in order to strengthen and build our faith. Let us hold the line. Let us bend a knee and fight and pray and believe.
We step into dark, unknown places and life gets weird. Fear relentlessly hammers our faith. We teeter precariously close to the edge sometimes. We feel like giving up.
And then He does something fabulously spectacular. He ministers to a hurting family, while ushering the faithful into eternity. He parts the waters. He calms the storm. He raises the dead. He rescues a nation. He saves the world.