Exodus 14-17 are filled with the complaints and grumblings of the Israelites as they leave Egypt and head out to this “promised land.” But the road to the “promised land” was wrought with far more trials and uncertainties than they expected. And after the initial excitement of the freedom from Egypt wore off, they were faced with the reality of being a nomadic people, headed for an unknown destination, following a man who was raised by Egyptians, but exiled for years. And they were the chosen people of God who they were just beginning to learn about again.
And so in chapters 14-17 they are faced with what we would see as dead ends. Fleeing from Egypt they were blocked by the Red Sea. Wandering in a desert they were without water. Then they had no food. Then they were without water again. It seemed as if their lives had reached a dead and, and the obstacles in front of them were insurmountable.
You and I, we are faced with obstacles everyday. Some greater than others. And sometimes life even seems as if it has reached a dead end. The recession. Redundancy. Pressures from work. from parents. from family.
And we complain, and grumble, and then ask God to just remove them. So that we don’t have to deal with them. We long for days when things were easier. We wish we didn’t have to deal with the newfound complexities of life and the changing world around us. And so our complaints and frustrations grow ever louder.
When in reality, it seems actually, that our eyes are focused on the wrong things. We have become so fixated on the obstacle in front of us, that we forget that the God we love and serve is beyond these things. That the promise for our life is not just water for survival, but living water of Christ. That the same Christ who fed the 5,000, yearns to nourish not just our bodies, but our very souls.
Sometimes a difference in perspective is what we really need. To stop relying on ourselves, and to learn to increase our faith in God. To see as he sees. To hope as he hopes. To love as he loves.
Because you and I are not just nomads with no place to go. No, you and I are travellers, born of God, following his lead. Where he goes, we go. As he goes, we go.
Go and love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. And love your neighbour as yourself.