In my discipleship group in college I learned Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” We claimed it as this verse of trusting God and waiting on Him. It was a verse of surrender and patience.
Fast forward 4 years and I’m sitting in church and Pastor Jonathan was literally in a teaching series surveying ALL OF SCRIPTURE. It was a long series 😉 He got to verse 14 and I expected the same interpretation and application as I was taught. And then he read verse 15 aloud: Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.
(ALSO: Lesson learned in the importance of reading Scripture in context before memorizing it and claiming it as a “life verse” out of context.)
As much as I love to be busy and productive and take matters in to my own hands, I wish that v 14 is where the story ended. I wish I could be still and let the Lord just work it out and holler at me when it’s done. I suppose there are times when that might be the case, but most often I feel like it’s more a both/and.
The Lord will fight for me and He will tell me to move on.
The Lord will call me to still my soul and to press on.
The Lord will hide me in the shadow of His wings and I will throw off things that hinder me and run the race marked out for me.
He has given us things to do, even when we feel like there is nothing we can do. He allows the sun to rise and set day after day even when, frankly, we’d rather Him not.
When things get heavy or hard and all I want is to sleep for a week or 3 until “it” passes, there are dishes to do and emails to answer and babies to bathe and meetings to run. I can choose to be resentful of the routines that must continue, of the seemingly unsympathetic time that ticks on by– or I can see those things as means of grace.
Grace in the conversation at lunch with a friend in need that counters (or at least distracts me from) my self-pity. Grace in the alarm clock that kicks me out of the bed. Grace in a hot shower- a perfect place for crying, for a moment of solitude, and for drumming up the courage to step out into the day set before me.
I trust that the Lord is okay with it not being pretty or efficient or neat or without faltering. It doesn’t even have to be out of noble ambition or holy desire. It can be by feeble and limping faith in what I cannot possibly see or understand in this moment. It can be in obedience and surrender despite my uncertainty and reluctance.
I cry out and hear the Father, full of compassion and tenderness, calling out to me…