Text: Exodus 13:17-22, Exodus 14:1-31, Psalm 77:14-20
In college, I worked at a summer camp that had a massive ropes course. Every once in a while, I was put on “zip line duty.” The zip line was at the very end of the ropes course. It was the fun part that came after climbing and wiggling and jumping and leaning on your partner through a somewhat rigorous series of obstacles, all beneath the hot Texas sun.
Though the campers had tested their harnesses and carabineers to the extreme by the time they reached me at the zip line, they were often afraid to jump off the platform. It was my job to reassure them.
“Don’t be afraid,” I’d say, “Look back there at that obstacle course you just did. Did you fall? Did your equipment fail you?”
“No,” they’d whisper.
“So why do you think it will this time?”
Though I was confident on the zip line that summer, I am not always so confident in the face of scary things. I understand how easy it is to forget God’s steady hand and His faithfulness.
I forget how He’s brought me safely through the obstacles behind me when I’m staring down the big, seemingly insurmountable one sitting right in front of me.
When God parted the Red Sea in Exodus 14, His people had been through a series of events in which they witnessed God’s power and protection: plagues, the first Passover, and finally, delivery from Egypt. But then, just as they thought they were home free, Pharaoh’s army was chasing them.
Forgetting God’s power and protection in their past, they protested, “What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? … It would have been better for us to serve Egyptians than to die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14:11-12).
But Moses, who trusted in the God who had promised to deliver them, reassured the Israelites, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation will provide for you today” (Exodus 14:13).
And the Lord did provide. He parted the water. He carved a path in dry land for His people to walk through. And once they were safely across, He crashed the waters back together, destroying Egypt’s entire army, bringing glory to His name by protecting His people. “When Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and believed in Him” (Exodus 14:31).
Our lives are marked with similar Red Sea moments—times when God carried us through an obstacle we deemed insurmountable. Each time He does this, our faith is deepened and our view of God and His goodness and power is broadened.
These are the times we ought to remember when we’re standing on the platform, knees shaking, palms sweating. Like the Israelites with Egypt hot on their trail, we stare at the expanse of the valley before us, doubting how or even if God will bring us through this time.
At camp, almost every kid eventually attempted the zip line. After I reminded them about the strength of the cables and counted to three multiple times, down they went. The more they did it, the more they trusted, and the less afraid they were.
If you’re standing on a platform today, instead of focusing on the fear in front of you, look back and remember the path behind you. When has God parted the sea in your past? When has He made a way when there seemed to be no way?
Remember, ours is a God “who works wonders” (Psalm 77:14). Even the sea obeys Him. Trust that the One who provided for you yesterday will provide for you today.