I’ve had the Bethel Song, No Longer Slaves, on a playlist that has been on repeat over the past few months. Every single time the lyric, “You split the sea so I could walk right through it, You drowned my fears in perfect love” plays, my eyes well up with tears. I finally stopped today in the middle of my workload and decided to dig deep into the meaning of this beautiful lyric and uncover why God has my heart stirring. I re-read the story of God splitting the sea for the Israelites, and this time God made me look at it a little differently.
Before God split the sea for the Israelites, they thought there was no hope. Pharaoh’s soldiers were coming after them to bring them back into slavery, and they would be trapped the second they reached the Red Sea. Seeing what they were up against, they decided they would rather be slaves again than die in the desert. But Moses encouraged his people by saying, "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 (Exodus 14:13-14 NIV).” And, God did just that. He rescued the Israelites from the hands of Pharaoh by splitting the Red Sea "so they could walk right through it." When in your life has God split the sea for you? I’m sure you can think of more than one example when God delivered you from the desert. You may not even realize when God splits the sea for you because He goes before you, and often times, fights for you before you even get to the desert. He knows what He will deliver you from, before you do. He knows how He will have to fight for you, before you do.
I look back less than 2 years ago, with just an idea for a devotional planner and see where God has brought it today. That's a split sea. I look back at where I was four years ago, in a 10-year pharmaceutical career that brought me little fulfillment and God little glory, and here I am living a dream God placed on my heart where I get to bring Him glory every single day. That's another split sea. I can even look back at having my daughter 13 years ago as a split sea, seeing that we struggled with years of infertility after her, trying to have baby #2. That’s a split sea that happened without me even knowing it at the time.
Just as the Israelites faced great fear, these tough times brought fear upon me as well. For me it was fear that made me question if I was doing the right thing. Fear that almost caused me to give up. Fear that made me down right crazy and not fun to be around! But, then there was the favor in the middle of the fear. The fear that made me lean into Jesus, intently listen to Him and feel Him drown me in His perfect love. I imagine this is the stillness God wanted for the Israelites, when Moses told them, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” The moment that you realize He’s got you and you trust him without a shadow of a doubt. This is what keeps you fighting, gives you hope and brings you that peace that surpasses all understanding. These are the moments that make the tough times bearable and beautiful. It’s for these moments that we can praise God for making a way where there was no way, and letting us experience His love in a deeper way. My prayer is that you surrender your fear to God and be still long enough with Him to witness His favor over it.
"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." EXODUS 14:13-14 NIV