Backs Against the Wall (Or the Sea)

A reading for Thursday, May 19, 2016: Exodus 14:10-25.

Sometimes when our backs are against the wall (or the sea) and the enemies of peace are pursuing us, our imagination and creativity fails us. We cannot imagine a future...

That's the place the Israelites found themselves in the desert with Pharaoh and the Egyptians in pursuit. They could not imagine any outcome but returning to the past, even with the oppression and lack of peace that the past continued to promise. When they could not see what was ahead, the only comfort was what was behind.

However in this story something was different. God was present in this story. God was fighting for them. God was the guarantor of a future filled with peace. Without God nothing else would have happened, that is except a return to the past. In this foundational story of our faith, God was the primary actor and the Moses and the Israelites were the supporting cast. God was creating a future of peace for God's people and it was accomplished in a way nobody saw coming. Remember, parting the Red Sea is just as unimaginable today as it was then.

Are we up against a wall (or the sea)? What could the future possibly bring that would represent peace and goodness? Our minds and our creativity fail to produce anything. So all we can think of to do is to return to the past and to repeat all the things we already know how to do. Even if there were things in our past that were not so good. Even if the past represents oppression and a lack of peace for some.

Yet, we still forget what is different about our story. You see, our story is the same story of the Israelites, perhaps with a different setting. The same God is still fighting for us. The same God is still offering a hopeful future, not based on what we can imagine but what God can do. We believe God is still present with us working and fighting for us and the creation in which we dwell, against the enemies of peace. We are still fully dependent on God for our future even if we don't always realize that.

Truth is, the future might be just as unimaginable as parting the Red Sea. Nobody saw that coming either, and yet through the power and grace of God the world was changed.

God continues on a mission and our world will be changed too!


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