Have you ever felt like you were stuck between a rock and a hard place? Like there’s no way out? Often when we find ourselves in a situation like this, our first thought is, “I must be out of God’s will. Why else would I be facing such a trial?”
What if I told you that you aren’t stuck, but instead might be exactly where God wants you to be? It’s true! Remember the story of the Israelites being led out of Egypt by Moses in Exodus chapters 13 and 14? God sent Moses to tell Pharaoh to release His people, and when he refused, all sorts of unpleasant things happened to the Egyptians. But finally, Pharaoh agreed, and the Israelites began their trek out of Egypt to the Promised Land. And then it happened. Pharaoh changed his mind and rallied his armies to chase after them. Let’s read Exodus 14:1–4:
Then the LORD gave these instructions to Moses: “Order the Israelites to turn back and camp…between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, across from Baal-zephon. Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!’ And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army.”
So there they were, over a million Israelites, stuck and camped on the edge of the Red Sea with the entire Egyptian army bounding toward them. Surely they were about to die.
But guess what. They were exactly where God wanted them to be.
That sounds harsh at first, doesn’t it? God had led them right to this place—a place with no way out, where life appeared to be coming to an abrupt end. Why? Why would a loving God put them in such a hard, uncomfortable place; a place that would surely test their faith?
I’ll tell you why. Because God knew that in that place, He would be glorified and His people would be saved. In that seemingly impossible place, God was about to bring complete deliverance from an enemy who was oppressing His people.
What happened next is awesome. As the Israelites stilled their hearts and trusted God for their deliverance, God went to battle on their behalf. (See Exodus 14:13–14.) He shielded them from the enemy with a cloud, and He sent a wind to split the Red Sea so the Israelites could walk across on dry land. And then, He threw the whole Egyptian army into confusion. He even twisted the wheels of their chariots so they were difficult to drive. In the end, the Israelites emerged victorious, and every remnant of the enemy’s army was destroyed—chariots and all.
Friend, maybe right now you are in a place that is hard and seems hopeless. Don’t despair. God knows exactly what He is doing. Be still. Trust God. In this hard place, you are about to be delivered from an oppressive enemy who has ruled over you for far too long. Like the Israelites, you are about to see the glory of God revealed in your life. God has your back, and the Lord Himself is fighting for you!
Written by Kristi Overton Johnson
Photo by Jeremy Bishop