One of my absolute favorite truths to teach kids in the Elementary room is that, ‘I Can Trust God No Matter What’. When you believe in Jesus, it doesn’t matter what situation or circumstance you are in, Jesus is bigger than it and will be faithful to pull you through it.
There’s a passage that I’ve thought about a lot lately in Isaiah 46:9-10. ‘I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.’ God makes known the end from the beginning! We don’t always know that end, or what it’s going to exactly look like, but He sees it and is with you leading you towards it. In this same chapter, God promises His people (who happen to be incredibly steeped in idolatry and rebellion at this time!) that, ‘I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you’ -Isaiah 46:4. What incredible promises we have to hold to, knowing that as followers of Jesus we have been purchased as God’s people!
I feel like I’m in a season of life where about the only consistent thing I hear from the Lord is to ‘trust’, ‘wait’, ‘be patient’, ‘just trust Me’ (notice trust is in there twice!). Through all of this, there has been a particular Bible story that has seemed to me to be more significant than most. This is the story of God parting the Red Sea in Exodus 13:17-14:31 (Read it!). Now it just so happens that this is the story we get to talk about regarding ‘Courage’ in the Elementary this Sunday and one that has incredibly encouraged me as this week has gone on. Allow me to dissect it a bit!
God has just showed His awesomely mighty power and strength over the Egyptians to deliver His people Israel out of slavery. This was done through the 10 plagues that devastated the land and ultimately claimed the life of every firstborn son in all the families of Egypt (don’t mess around with God…). God’s presence is now gloriously leading His people out of Egypt by His presence in a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire by night. At this point God makes known to Moses an interesting development to the plans. He pretty much tells Moses that He (God) is going to lead them to a place where Israel is going to be cornered and Pharaoh is going to seize that opportunity to attempt to destroy them (Exodus 14:1-4). Through this though, God promises that He is going to gain glory for Himself (Notice ‘making known the end from the beginning?’). This is exactly what happens!
In verse 10, it shows that when Israel sees Pharaoh coming after them that they are terrified. In fact they take out their anger on Moses saying that they would have rather stayed in Egypt then get killed in the desert (not dessert… had to catch myself there). Moses responds with this incredible command, ‘Do not be afraid, stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today… The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.’ Just soak on that for a minute… it only gets more beautiful. I can just imagine Moses making this amazing proclamation, promptly distancing himself from the group, and falling on his face crying out to the LORD in fear and uncertainty (let’s be real… that’s exactly what I would do!). I say this because the next verse, ‘The LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”’ God’s presence then moves behind them to stand between Israel and Pharaoh’s army in protection. God instructs Moses to raise his staff, the Red Sea parts (really… the whole sea… split in two), the Israelites go across on dry ground, the Egyptians attempt to pursue them but get swallowed up and washed away! It was Israel’s darkest hour, and the LORD delivered them. Through all of the fear, uncertainty and struggle, this testament of God’s faithfulness became a song of praise and an anchor of hope for the people of Israel (just notice how many times it’s mentioned throughout the Psalms).
Now if you’re still with me in this post (I know it’s long!) it’s probably because something inside of you resonates with such a need for deliverance. You might have even asked yourself at the beginning, ‘Can I really trust God no matter what?’ Now, there is no greater deliverance than what Jesus has done to save our souls! However, I know there are a lot of people struggling with a lot of darkness of various kinds right now. You might not be able to see the end of it, but God has known the end of what you are walking through since its beginning; you need only to trust in Him. I think that perhaps my favorite part of this story is that even though the Israelites (and I personally believe Moses too) were terrified and floundered in this moment, they still received a special place of honor in Hebrew’s Hall of Faith. ‘By faith the people (Israel) passed through the Red Sea as on dry land’ -Hebrews 11:29. Sometimes we don’t bring a very pretty showing as we struggle to trust in God through our circumstances, but hold on to hope! Persevere and there will be a moment that you can look back on where God will say, “Look at what I did! By faith you walked through that!”. Know that in every moment you can look to God as He who will sustain you; the One who will carry you. God is gaining glory for Himself through what you walk through. Run to Him, and eagerly await for the waters to part. I believe it’s going to happen!
-Seth Baker, kid’s ministry director