Posted by Craig Borlase on 27 August 2014

It is tempting to wonder about things. Why doesn’t God just add an extra four or five zeros onto our bank balance and let us live out the rest of our days in devoted service without all that nasty hassle of having to earn a living? Or why doesn’t God answer our prayers for guidance with a speedy download of the way the next twenty years might work out? Why, come to think of it, didn’t he leave a little more detail in the Bible, stuff that would tell us how to deal with terrorism, stem cell treatment and Twitter?

Why not?

God, it seems, prefers to deal far more in the present with his people. Take a look at that jail-break to beat all jail-breaks, the Exodus (take a look now at Exodus chapters 12 to 14).

There they were, a population held together by their devotion to Yahweh but who had been victims of genocide, infanticide and years of oppression and slavery. They escape and, quite understandably, they worry. How will they survive? The clear skies of freedom seem so unnatural to them – and the very presence of choice so overwhelming that their anxiety about the future increases. How will they survive? How on earth can ever be free?

3,500 years later and little has changed. We still find ourselves being both slave and slavemaster, we still blink in the sunlight as we emerge from the shadows, we still feel perplexed about how we can overcome the hurdles that lie between us and our chosen destination.

It’s not hard to see the potential of the church: a gloriously global force that rescues and revives, that restores families and challenges injustice, corruption and champions a life lived to the fullest. But how to get there? How to overcome the logistics, the economics, the politics? How can we possibly hope to ever be all that we have the potential to be when world is so scarred by injustice, apathy and sin?

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” [Exodus 14:14]

It turns out that Moses was right. While the Israelites waited by the water’s edge Moses followed God’s commands, stretched out his arm and staff and watched as the water separated. All they had to do was be still – to trust, to watch, to wait.

God’s challenge remains the same to us. Will we put aside our doubt and learn to trust again? Will we watch and be ready to move when the path clears? Will we act as soon as we must?

Much of what we see around us can overwhelm, leaving us frozen and passive. But maybe it’s a question of perspective. What if the waters were actually already parted. Are we ready to walk through them?

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