Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Trust in the Lord and Remember

One of the most difficult tasks for us short-minded human beings is trusting in God for what we cannot yet see. The funny thing is that God constantly provides—and if we looked back to just yesterday we would see such miracles; nevertheless, we often fail to trust him for today or tomorrow. Sadly, this is not new!

The Israelites were on their way to the Promised Land. They had been enslaved in Egypt, apparently, they were fed well, but life was miserable. Pharaoh treated them brutally. Having recognized the power of God, Pharaoh released God’s people from slavery, but while they were heading towards the Red Sea, Pharaoh changed his mind—realizing that all his labor force was now gone. The chase began. The Egyptians chased the Israelites and made them nervous (understatement). Moses’ consistent reply to God’s people was, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.” (Ex 14:13). Hands up, waters part, Israel crosses, Egyptians die. DELIVERANCE! This was no small accomplishment. Think for a moment: when was the last time that the Charleston Harbor dried up so that one could walk straight over to the Aquarium? And not just one person but thousands? And chased by an Army? This was a miracle!

Now what was the first major event following this deliverance? “In the desert, the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron…”If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted. But you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assemble to death.” (Ex. 16:2ff.)

God had hardly brought them there to starve! He was leading them to the Promised Land. We know the rest of the story and would like to shout out to them in retrospect, “Remember what God has already done for you! He won’t leave you! To the contrary, stay focused on being obedient to Him and God will provide for all of your needs!” Sadly, we, like the Israelites are blessed today, and curse God for apparently abandoning us tomorrow. Then tomorrow we are blessed by God and curse Him the next day again!

Remember, “…faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Remember, Jesus has promised, “Lo, I am with you always…”. Remember, your heavenly Father knows your needs (cf. Mt. 6:25ff). Remember, God calls us to faithfulness, to obedience, not to success—especially by the world’s definition. SO, whether we are talking about simply facing one more day at the office or building a parish church, let us look back on our own lives—individually and corporately—to see the miracles of God: God in ACTION, and remember Him today in faith, trusting fully in Him into tomorrow!

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