Ever found yourself staring up at a big fat brick wall? You’re on one side, God’s plan for you is on the other, and there’s no plausible way for you to cross over.
You try everything. You attempt to scale the wall, but it’s too high. You try hacking through the wall with a pick axe, but it’s too solid. THEN you buy yourself a rocket launcher and attempt to disintegrate the fiendish barrier, but its mysterious composite holds fast and the blast knocks you down instead.
Frustration gives way to lunacy; lunacy gives way to anger, and anger to depression and despair. Before you know it you’re sitting on the couch in resignation, binging on Netflix with a gallon of cookie dough ice cream by your side.
But I Thought He Told Me…
Say God gives you a dream; say He entrusts you with a promise—what happens when that dream appears unlikely or the promise seems like it will never come to pass?
If you’re like me, you try harder. You pour every ounce of physical strength and mental energy into making the dream a reality, but your efforts don’t make a single dent.
When that happens, you try surrender. You say all the right words and tell God what you think He wants to hear—and although you really do want to be genuine—you can’t help but hope the words you say will be the magic key that opens the door. But it’s not, and you’re stuck waiting.
So you wait and you wait and you WAIT but the seasons come and go and everyone else goes on with their lives and as you watch them pass you by you wonder if maybe, just maybe, you should give up on this so-called dream.
Maybe the calling you thought God had placed in your heart wasn’t really from Him. Maybe you heard wrong. Or maybe He decided you just weren’t good enough for the job and went for someone else.
Maybe you should scrap these farfetched notions of “making a difference for the kingdom of God” and just settle for whatever life you can make for yourself. At least then you wouldn’t be sitting here looking like an idiot, waiting for a God who will never come, a promise that will never be fulfilled, and a dream that will never come to pass.
You know who else found themselves in a position like this? The Israelites. In Exodus chapter 14 we find them between a rock and a hard place, or rather, an endless sea and a bloodthirsty army that was coming to drag them back into bondage or kill them.
As you can imagine, the Israelites were discouraged. They were confused and heartbroken and in despair. Verses 10-12 says, “As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the LORD, and they said to Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!'” (NLT).
Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever asked God, “Why did You bring me through all that other stuff only to leave me stranded here?!” The Israelites were mad at God. They were tired and worn out and confused. God had rescued them from bondage. He had freed them from their oppressors. He’d gotten their hopes up with talk about a “promise land.”
But God had failed them—or so it seemed. He had toyed with their emotions. He’d strung them along with words like “purpose” and “freedom” only to leave them abruptly between two insurmountable forces where death or captivity was the best they could hope for.
How did God answer their cries? What message, through Moses, did He give to them in their moment of despair? Verses 13-14 says, “Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still’” (NIV).
Soon after Moses spoke those words God did the impossible. He parted the waters of the Red Sea before their eyes. With a mighty hand, He led them in-between the walls of water several stories tall on dry ground; and when their enemies pursued them He crashed the waves back down on top of the Egyptians’ heads. The miraculous path disappeared and the ones who were trying to kill them were never seen again.
David describes this event vividly in Psalm 77:18-19 which says, “Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook. Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters–a pathway no one knew was there!” (NLT).
I can’t tell you how many times God has led me through treacherous waters by a path I didn’t even know was there. So many times He’s rescued me from the pit of despair via an avenue that remained hidden until He Himself revealed it at the perfect moment.
What Do We Do?
So what do we do when we’re stuck? How do we survive the waiting process with our sanity still intact? How do we sit in front of that huge, impenetrable wall without tumbling into a trench of self-pity and doubt?
The answer is revealed in Exodus 14:14, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (NIV). Faith. That is what will see us through. Faith in the God who loves us and gave Himself up for us so that we could be reunited with Him. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “without faith it is impossible to please God” (NIV).
But why? Why is our faith so important to God? Because faith is the portal through which trust and love are intertwined, forming precious intimacy with God which is the goal of our relationship with Him.
You want to grow closer to God? You want to drink deeper of the love that brings life and meaning to our very souls? Dare to have faith; the kind of faith that sees the grim reality of the odds and the people passing by shaking their heads, and dares to believe; dares to surrender itself to the love of the One who first loved us.
Are you staring at a wall today? Are you in the middle of the wilderness, with a blood-thirsty enemy on one side, and an endless sea on the other?
Be still. Have faith. Choose to trust the One whose love brought you to life. He will bring something from nothing. He will create for you a pathway; one no one knew was there. ❤