When God chooses the hard road…Posted: January 5, 2016
We are trying to work on getting better about reading the Bible as a family. Congrats to those who have this figured out! We are not that family… but we are working on it.
Our church has been using The Gospel Project in Sunday School for the past few years. I can not commend this program enough! It is awesome! My kids know the Word! They are in Exodus right now. We decided to read Exodus 13, right before where the Israelites cross the Red Sea.
I love the Word of God. I have read this account many, many times. Tonight this part stood out to me for the first time:
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearby; for God said, “The people will change their minds and return to Egypt if they face war. So He led the people around toward the Red Sea along the road of the wilderness. And the Israelites left the land of Egypt in battle formation.” Exodus 13:17-18
Here is why this spoke to me:
- God knows the hearts of His people! I can’t, not put an exclamation mark there! The God of the Universe knows the hearts of His people. He knew they would be tempted to go back to slavery if they were led via the road nearby. I am wrestling with a decision right now. To be completely honest, I myself do not even know which option I want. The good news is that God knows my heart. He knows what is best for His glory and my good (Romans 8:28).
- God was setting them up to see a miracle. My son is a thinker. When I brought this up with them he said, “Yeah but God could have done a miracle on the road nearby too if He wanted to…. That’s right mom I know you have been at work all day but let’s see how well your brain works tonight” Okay, maybe he didn’t say that last part. The parting of the Red Sea was an awesome miracle! The Isrealites were privileged to be on the front row of this spectacular display of God’s power. The Isrealites had long road ahead of them. They needed to see this miracle. God knows the hearts of His people to led them away from temptation and give them the (massive) encouragement they needed.
- They knew Him more because of the harder road. If you have studied the Bible for any length of time, you know the Isrealites struggled. They loved God and served Him one day and were stripping off their jewelry the next day to make an idol. And yet, God’s covenant remained. They are still His people. This part of the journey was difficult but through it they knew God more.
I take comfort in that. I am in a season that (more times than not), I think “God, why didn’t you fix this another way? Why didn’t you make that other job available or never have allowed me to do make that one decision? You could have kept me from this frustration. You could have prevented this pain. You could have kept me from this hard road.”
A year or so ago, Comcast had these commercials the sequenced these crazy events all because of one decision to not “choose Comcast”. I do this with almost every life decision…. and even not so life decisions like where to go grocery shopping. If I pick the wrong grocery store and don’t save as much money…. this could obviously led to my family living in a cardboard box next month. I struggle with even doubting decisions that I know God has called me do. I weekly have to ask, “You did tell me to do this right?”
Why do I do this?
Because that decision, that path, that “road” that God told me to take gets HARD! And somewhere in my Christian brain I have been programmed to think that, that is not how it is supposed to work!
Instead, somewhat of the opposite is true. God calls us take the “hard” road sometimes. He calls us to take that road because He knows us, and He wants us to know Him more.
So chin up my friends. Brush off the dirt and keep walking. There is a miracle ahead.