Picture This #1
I posted this on FB and it has become the most shared and liked thing on my page. Thought I'd post it here for those of you who -- like me -- don't really FB.
Picture this a second: And I know you've heard this before but I want you to try and see it 'new' just for a second.
Moses -- 80 years old -- standing at the Red Sea. His brother Aaron, 82, was probably standing next to to him. 1-3 million Hebrews (I tend to think it was 3M or greater) huddled behind him staring at a big body of water and no way across. Behind him, Mothers are nursing babies. Children are holding their parents' hands. Elderly are leaning on younger children. They have no water. No food. No weapons. It's growing dark. Nighttime is upon them. Behind them is the distinct sound of horses, and chariots and metal clinking metal and men shouting. It is thunderous and they not only hear it they can feel the vibrations of the earth under the iron wheels and hoofs. In the minds of the Hebrews, the sound that they hear is the sound of the most powerful and terrifying army the world has ever known. They can conceive of nothing worse. Parents try to cover the ears of their children. They and their ancestors have lived 400 years in Egypt and they know full well what will happen to them when caught. Their minds play the pictures of what is about to happen to their wives, to their precious children, to them. Fear and terror spreads like a wave. Adults are screaming in anger and fear at Moses, cursing him. (In my mind, and this is not in scripture, people are throwing stuff at him.) Mutiny is no longer a whisper in the ranks but an all out cry. Some of the younger, more capable, are running to and fro looking for an escape but they are hemmed in. Water before. All of Egypt behind...
Now, let the camera in your mind wander back to Moses. What's going on in his head? In his heart? He dearly loves the people behind him and he is responsible for what is about to happen to them and he knows it. He was raised an Egyptian. He knows, maybe better than anyone, what they are capable of and what they'll do to them when caught. Maybe he is standing on an elevated bluff above the water. Maybe a small rock that raises him a few feet above the ground. Maybe he is simply standing on the bank with his toes in the water. Staff in his hand. Maybe he's tired and starting to lean on it. Maybe the knot in his stomach is making him feel like he wants to throw up. He glances over his shoulder at the sound growing nearer. Then at the terror spread across his families' faces. That right there is the moment. I don't know what the conversation sounded like but I imagine it was simple, and to the point. And I don't think it was quiet either. I imagine Moses shouting at the top of his lungs. "Lord, we need you right now! Not tomorrow! Not next week! Right this second!"
I won't ruin the story for you but that's about the time the breeze picked up. You can read the rest of the story at Exodus 15. (Not even a novelist could think up a story this crazy.)
Maybe you're staring at an impossibility before and behind you. Maybe you're hemmed in. Mind racing. Maybe there is a lie running rampant and living rent free in your head telling you about all the horrible things that are about to happen to you. Maybe you're growing angry.
Here's the truth of it -- the very same God who started to blow on the water, is here at my desk and there at your computer or your phone or wherever you're reading this. He was there yesterday and He'll be there tomorrow. Hasn't changed a bit. Doesn't love you any less. His arms haven't grown short.
"But..." You protest "We have no Moses..."
See, that's the cool part. We do. He's in the throne room, standing next to God. He's the one with the white hair, bronze feet, eyes of fire, holding the keys of death and Hades, and he is constantly making sure His Father knows everything going on with us. His resume? Well, for starters, He's the one that walked down into Hell, defeated the worst stuff you can imagine, like totally and completely, and then walked out shining like the sun. He's got lots of names, but this one might be my favorite, "Ruler of the kings of the earth."