I heard this verse when I was about 10 years old. My pastor, whom I loved, was dying cancer. He was one of those people who were extremely healthy & in good shape, an avid gym member & active in marathons throughout our community. It came as a huge shock to our congregation when he announced his illness. Even at my young age I thought there must be some mistake. The day he told our congregation I remember how calm he was, how his eyes still shimmered & his faith was still there. He didn’t make a big deal about the matter, he only asked for prayer for his family & he quoted Exodus 14:14. He read it out loud and he claimed that verse as though he were claiming a country. I believed him, we all did.
Sometimes life is unfair, and bad things happen to good people. My pastor lost his fight with cancer; I remember his funeral like it was yesterday. The rows were filled, and they had to put chairs going all the way to the back of the church. The church was so packed that there were people standing throughout the whole service. I remember I sat with my friends from youth group and we cried. We cried because we knew God had let a honorable man die– this is sometimes the hardest thing for me to understand when it comes to death.
I kept this verse in my heart, but It wasn’t until years later that I went back and read the full chapter. Exodus 14 talks about Moses & the Israelites leaving Egypt after the King finally let them go. The king, and his officials, had changed their minds and wondered why they had let the Isrealites leave. The pharaoh and his troops went after them and surrounded the Israelites. After they realized they were surrounded, they got upset at Moses and started asking him why he made them leaves Egypt. They started doubting Moses (and God’s) plan for them. Exodus 14:13 is where Moses’s faith shines though: But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you, just stay calm.” Immediately after this was the parting of the Red Sea, where God allowed the Israelites to escape from the king’s army.
At times i feel like the Egyptians, following God blindly into the desert towards a better life, then at the first sign of trouble I start to doubt God. I start to think it wasn’t the right path to take because it’s starting to get scary & difficult. I start to ask God why he’s even leading me outside of my comfort zone in the first place because i felt comfortable where i was. There are years in my life where I’ve lost people closets to me. There have been times when people have taken advantage of my vulnerability. There have been times where pain & sorrow have overtaken me & it feels like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.
Exodus 14:14 gives me hope. It comforts my heart & gives peace to my soul. There are SO many times in my life where I don’t trust God. Yet, Even in the dessert he see’s me. He reminds me that he’s still there, even if it’s just a small act of beauty or it’s delivered by someone fighting a harder battle than me, God reminds me. And, even in my most doubtful & painful moments, he will fight for me. I just need to stay calm and carry on.
I’m currently participating in an online devotional called Made To Crave by Proverbs 31 Ministires . Please check it out! http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/current-study/