Exodus chapter 16 - talk about a crazy time to be alive!
The Israelites had recently witnessed God’s mighty hand against their oppressors, the Egyptians. Ten plagues had ravaged through their enemy's land. They watched the Red Sea literally part before their eyes and safely walked through on the dry ground, only to see it come crashing down upon their pursuing captors. And now they find themselves journeying through the desert. They’re not sure what will happen next. There is no doubt that they found themselves asking how long they will be there, where their food and water will come from, or what will happen to them once they get to the land the Lord had promised them.
Those unsettling thoughts and questions might sound familiar to you right now. Perhaps your life seems very uncertain. How long will this trial last? What will happen in my future? Will I have enough money? Will those I love remain healthy? Is my job stable? What will the economy be like in the future? And if you’re anything like me, when you go through crises, you find yourself often saying, “What day is it today?” You are not the only one asking these sorts of questions. But there is much we can learn from the story of Exodus 16 about our own hearts and how we respond to trials and difficulties.
The chapter begins with a very pressing need. The people are hungry and they have no food. So they begin to complain to Moses and Aaron (their leaders). Whether out of hunger, emotional distress, or both, they even start to say crazy things like: “…Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (16:3)...
A Moment to reflect:
1. Can you think of a time where the Lord has done something miraculous in your life? Don't limit yourself to a "parting of the red sea" experience, it may be a beautiful revelation in the mundane moments of life.
2. Do any of these unsettling thoughts and questions resonate with you: life feeling uncertain, a trial with no end in sight, fears about the future, money issues, health, job stability, economic/political distress, etc., how have you been dealing with them?
3. What is one thing you're aware of right now that you want to grow in while walking through a trial? It could be a way you desire to experience the Lord's presence with you. Keep that in mind as you continue reading this three part series...
By Nancy Martin; an excerpt from For Such A Time As This: Walking Through Crisis
*A moment to reflect is added for this post.