It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned. (Hebrews 11:29)
With each step out of the land of Egypt, the Israelites must have tasted their freedom more and more. God was leading them away from the place in which they had been enslaved for generations. And then it happened. They found themselves face to face with a watery dead end as they stood at the shore of the Red Sea. And then, to make matters worse, Pharaoh decided to pursue them in order to bring them back into captivity. As the Egyptian army, with its horses and its chariots, came into sight, the Israelites once again became slaves – not slaves to the Egyptians, but slaves to their fear. They cried out to God, complained to Moses, and began to think that they were better off when they lived as slaves to the Egyptians. But Moses had faith in God. “Do not fear!” he told the Israelites. Moses believed that God would not allow them to be recaptured, and God used Moses to part the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to pass through on dry land before sending the pursuing Egyptian army to its watery grave (Exodus 14:1-31).
God provided a way for the Israelites to escape their captors and their fears. He made a way through the obstacle in front of them and away from the fear that pursued them. The way through the Red Sea was provided by God, but it required something on the part of the Israelites. In Exodus 14:16, God told Moses that he was to lift up his staff, stretch his hand over the sea, and divide the water, and that the Israelites were to walk through the sea on dry land. God’s way through the problem facing the Israelites required faith. Moses had to believe that what God said would happen would come to pass. He had to believe that the laws of nature would be bent and that the water would roll back, exposing dry land so that the Israelites could pass through. He had to believe that the water would be held back long enough for every one of them to make it through to the other side, ahead of the pursuing Egyptian army. And then they had to step out in that faith.
We all face a Red Sea at some point in our lives. The entire world is facing a Red Sea right now with the COVID-19 outbreak. And that Red Sea is fear, anxiety, hopelessness, depression caused by isolation. But here’s the thing, as we face this Red Sea, we have a choice. We can stand in front of it and allow ourselves to become slaves to that fear, that hopelessness, that anxiety and depression. Or, we can seek God’s help, asking Him to help us through by parting our Red Sea. When we reach out to God, He will provide a way through our difficulties. That way could be miraculous, as God eradicates the virus. Or God may simply give each of us the strength, hope, courage, or comfort that we need to face the situation we are in. The parting of the Red Sea required faith on the part of Moses and the Israelites. Seeing our Red Sea part requires the same from us. We need to believe that God will make a way for us. And we need to step out in faith and walk through our difficulty in whatever way God directs.
Is COVID-19 leaving you at a standstill, facing the Red Sea of fear, anxiety, hopelessness, or depression in which the enemy is trying to enslave you? Are the words that come from your heart, “God, if You can, please help me through this! I’m trying so hard to believe but look at what’s happening all around us!” If so, remember the words that the father of the demon-possessed boy cried out to Jesus in Mark 9:24, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Cry out to God to help you build the faith you need, allow Him to show you the way through your Red Sea, then step out in that faith into the freedom that waits on the other side.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.