The discussion Rennie & I shared with a small group of friends turned to moments in our life we remember really well.
We each shared stories of special events- concerts, sporting events, etc. that we recalled in vivid detail. We remembered who was with us, what happened, how it felt. Often, someone would share how that moment had changed their life.
Like the young man who as a boy was with his father at a baseball game when a world breaking home run was made. He remembered the permission he and the entire grandstand had to celebrate the moment in a loud and crazy fashion.
Or the young woman who just experienced a training event over the weekend that seems to have had a life-changing impact on her future. She spoke with excitement, passion and tears about the moment she knew this was was she needed to do next.
Then our leader asked, ” What is the arena where God shows up in our life?”
Life events – Tragedies – Celebrations
We all had moments to share. And most of them were the Big Moments. Moments we could recall in vivid detail. We remembered who was with us, what happened, how it felt. Often, someone would share how that moment had changed their life.
I immediately thought of my MOMENT. Actually a series of moments that I consider to be my RED SEA moment.
Do you remember hearing the story of the children of Israel at the parting of the Red Sea? There are a series of moments where God shows up in amazing ways. I tell the story in Chapter 15 of my book Lovely Traces of Hope, but you can read all about it in book of Exodus.
The synopsis of the story is that God showed up to Moses and told him to go to the Pharaoh of Egypt (Moses’ father figure) and ask to let the Children of Israel return to there promised land. (I love this part of the story.)
Moses and his brother Aaron return to Egypt and gather the people of Israel to tell them that God sent them. The children of Israel believe them. But the Pharaoh–not so much! Instead of listening to Moses, he made the Israelites work harder than ever.
Then God showed up with 10 plagues which you will just have to read about on your own. After a long series of requests, the Egyptian Pharaoh finally gives permission for the children of Israel to leave.
Picture trying to move an entire community- actually an entire nation of people,
Women and children
All the livestock and animals
Carrying all the silver and gold that the Egyptians had given them
All of their clothes and baggage
And flat bread. (Want to know why? Read Exodus!)
But shortly after they leave, the Pharaoh changes his mind and orders his army to pursue the Israelites and bring them back–or worse, kill them. It seemed it would be quite easy for them to catch up to such a big group of people.
Then God shows up! Not as he had previously in their story but in a new way. This time he came with a pillar of cloud to protect them from being seen during the day and a pillar of fire to light the way for them at night.
God even told Moses what route to use. Scripture tells us he didn’t lead them on the shortest route.
For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.
So there they are at the edge of the RED SEA and they turn to to see the Pharaoh’s army pursuing them. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.
Can you imagine what that must have felt like?
Then God instructed Moses to raise his staff over the waters to divide the sea. Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. Exodus 14:21-222
Imagine standing on the edge of that water bank! The waters tremble, the winds blow, and earth quakes. And then the RED SEA divides to create a path through the sea, a dry path. It was a path no one knew was there (Ps 77: 19).
Even though they were in the middle of a miracle as the waters stood up to make a way for them, what courage it must have taken to walk with their children by their side between the walls of water. They had to be wondering if the wind storm might end at any moment and the waters would come crashing down on them.
But what option did they have? The Egyptians were pursuing them and to not cross would be death, or certainly the bondage they had just been freed from. Even with all the insecurity, going through the sea had to be the least frightening choice.
It took the tribe of Israel all night long to get all of the people through to the other side. They watched as Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the path.
You wonder if the children of Israel were beginning to wonder why God had opened this way for them only to have the Egyptians overtake them on the other side.
Would you have been afraid?
Then just before daybreak, as the last of the Israelites stepped out on the other side, the Lord told Moses to stretch out his staff over the sea again, and the sea went back into place. The entire army of Pharaoh was swept into the sea. Not one of them survived.
That’s the Red Sea Moment.
This is the moment that the children of Israel remember over and over again, told from one generation to the next, recalled in vivid detail. They remembered who was with them, what happened, how it felt. Often, someone would share how that moment had changed their life.
All through scripture you see references to the Red Sea! THE moment when God showed up differently than they had ever seen him before and provided something they all needed but no one could fathom. That’s a story you tell your kids and they pass on to their children.
So how what’s my Red Sea story?
Well, I guess you’ll have to come back tomorrow for the next post. I’ve got a story to tell you about a moment that changed my life.
In the meantime, why don’t you check out the the book of Exodus. See if you can identify with a particular character in the story. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Can’t wait? Read more about my RED SEA story right away.
Click here to get CHAPTER 15 from Lovely Traces of Hope.