Be Still

Maybe you read the story for yourself. Maybe you just read the teaser in my previous post. Maybe, if you’re like me, the events of Exodus 14 are still whispering promises of hope to your anxious heart. The same whisper of hope given to a nation of people conditioned to abuse and captivity. A concept so foreign to their ears. A God who wants to fight for them if they’ll just be still.

It is hard to be still when you’re trapped on the shore of an angry sea with an enemy closing in.

A word from that warrior God, an act of obedience from their leader, and a cloud of darkness appears between them and the army in hot pursuit. The wind starts blowing.  Water that once formed the crashing waves stands to form towering walls. A hallway through the impossible appears and the promise rings in their ears as they take their first steps to cross the sea on dry land. Questions surely rang louder than the promise. Will the walls hold while we all cross? Will the enemy cross with us? What will we do next? Despite the odds, every single person made it across. Then one look back confirms their fear.

The enemy is coming.

It has been too much for too long. They even murmur that they might have been better off in the abuse and captivity. Anxiety screams. Breath catches in each throat as the wind stops. The silence makes time be still. God closes the water. Every dammed drop breaks free to wash away the enemy. Just like that.

The enemy is gone.

 Every day we stand at the shore of impossible and feel the ground tremble as that thing that would love to destroy us approaches. Our anxiety screams. We ask a lot of questions as we realize that our strength is just not enough to face our life that has somehow become tougher than we are. So foreign to our ears this concept of a God who wants to fight for us and teach us to be still.

The wind is blowing.

The wind brings the whisper and we dare to trust it. As we take our first steps into the hallway of obedience we discover the beauty of this strange phrase, “Be still”. Our perception of these words confuses us until we dig into the original language. By definition, this original ancient Hebrew word, “Rapha” implies that it is time to stop striving. It means to be still, to stop fighting, to relax. In a physical sense, it says, “Put your hands down.”

Put your hands down.

We’re always putting our hands up to defend ourselves from all that life brings our way. We put our hands up to fight everything off. We put our hands up to push people away. We put our hands up so that no one can see the tears in our exhausted eyes. Its time to put our hands down. It’s time to trust, relax, and let go as we place our hands in the hand of Jesus, the only one who is strong enough to send heaven to fight for us.

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