The first home improvement project my husband and I tackled together was our daughter’s nursery. As we were in the final stages of decorating, it was time to put up the shelves. My parents were with us as we prepared the room. I wanted a particularly long shelf placed in a certain place. My husband told me that it would not fit. My dad told me that it would not fit. I wanted to believe them, but it seemed like it would. I said nothing, but I was struggling to believe either one of them. It seems that my dad could tell what I was thinking. He held the shelf up so that I could see with my own eyes that the shelf was too long. I wanted to believe, but I was sure that I knew better. I was wrong.
Perhaps you have had similar experiences. We would like to put our faith in someone. We would like to trust their judgment, but the doubt lingers. Perhaps this is due to past experiences of abuse of trust. Perhaps it is depending too much on your own understanding. Perhaps it is the notion that we must be proven wrong. Whatever the reason, we often have trouble trusting what others tell us. It is a part of our human condition.
The Israelites had the same problem. They had been in bondage for many years. They had been oppressed, but God delivered them. They saw Moses stand up to Pharaoh. The plagues came. They were free from Pharaoh. As they fled Egypt the came to the sea, traditionally known as the Red Sea. They were ready to give up at this first obstacle. Perhaps, like us, they wanted to trust, but they did not see a way. They needed to put their trust in Moses and God. They could not. They began to complain and fret.
God can do things that we never even imagined, like parting the waters. God can make a way when there seems to be no way. The Israelites had to learn to trust that God could and would take care of them. We need to learn the same lesson. Let us seek to live by faith more fully, trusting God even when we cannot see the way forward. Like the Israelites, we may experience the miracles of God’s care.