Peace be with you!
Have you ever done something and then wondered how you did it? I am always amazed when a colleague or a friend introduces me as a disability advocate and a scholar of God’s healing presence in the world. My words seem to have a greater impact than I realize.
God calls Moses as a prophet to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. After ten plagues, the Pharaoh finally honors Moses’ request to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt. On the night of the Israelites’ mass exit, God appears as a pillar of cloud leading them out of Egypt (Exodus 14:19). Then when the Pharaoh changes his mind and has his men go after them (Exodus 14:5), the pillar of cloud goes behind the Israelites (Exodus 14:19). God in the pillar of cloud becomes a barrier between the Pharaoh’s men and the Israelites. God protects the Israelites from being caught by the soldiers and being put back into slavery.
When the Israelites come to the sea, God instructs Moses to stretch out his hands over the waters. When Moses does this, God divides the sea with an east wind (Exodus 14:21). The Israelites cross the sea on dry land (Exodus 14:22) to safety in the wilderness. After the Israelites finish crossing the sea, Moses stretches out his hands again, and the waters go back to normal (Exodus 14:26). God in a pillar of fire and cloud causes the Egyptians’ chariots to get stuck in the mud (Exodus 14:25) and drown in the receding waters (Exodus 14:26). None of the Pharaoh’s men survive (Exodus 14:30).
Surely the Israelites must be disoriented the next few days as they struggle to get their bearings as newly free people. They are happy to no longer be slaves, but they wonder why their freedom was brought about under the cover of night. They wonder what the future holds. The Israelites see the power of God and are learning to fear the Lord as well as believe in him (Exodus 14:31). God provides them with a new future.
God works in mysterious ways to lead us to where we need to be, even if we do not understand why. There are times when we are disoriented as we consider how an event happened or how we got somewhere. We do not always understand why or what we are supposed to be doing, but God calls us to do his work in the world.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Protect us from Satan’s power. Be presence in our lives and lead us to do your work in the world. Thank you for your mysterious ways in the world. Amen.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the behavior covenant by commenting on it.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
- Where and how has God lead you to do his work in the world?
- When have you felt God’s presence?