This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from Antonio Garrido (from Cuba, Mr. Garrido shares about his life with the Lord. Despite the battle, his meditations witness to victory and faith. He writes under a pseudonym.) In his inspiration, there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:
Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.’ (Exodus 14:13-16)
The Israelites, with Moses at the front, were involved in a very delicate situation. In front of them was the Red Sea. To their sides the desert and behind them the Egyptian army to capture them. A very frightening scene. A street with a dead end.
God’s people often find themselves in similar situations. Enemies all around us with a seemingly dead end awaiting. Wherever we look we see danger, anguish and despair. But God permits these situations to show us that there is never reason for despair. Certain spiritual lessons can only be learned in streets with a dead end, where the way to God is still open.
When things got really bad Moses obeyed the voice of God and struck the water with his rod. And the dead end street changed into a thoroughfare.
It always will ... if we obey and trust our Lord.
A moment of introspection: Entering dead end streets, being beset with problems, hemmed in with woes on all sides, faced with mountains no human could scale, pressed upon with incessant stresses: do we succumb in a morass of self-pity--perceiving "danger, anguish and despair" wherever we look? Or do we recognize such obstacles as presenting lessons in trusting God, proffering instructions in obeying His precepts and commands? Often, when stressed, we find perspective slipping between our fingers until God's presence in the "dead end" is no longer felt. But both Brother Garrido and Moses knew, and recognized, box canyons or dead-end streets for what they are: opportunities for God to become more real to each of us. As such, these obstacles represent opportunities to exercise our trust in God, and build up the "muscles" of obedient living.
In God's Word, examples of "dead ends" speak to us: Christ in the garden of Gethsemane and enduring the cross (Luke 22:42; Hebrews 12:2), Paul in his thwarted desire to travel to Asia Minor (Acts 16:7), the Israelites in the wilderness with no seeming way out (Hebrews3:17-19), Paul and Silas in prison (Acts 16:16-40), Samson (captured by the Philistines) (Judges 16:23-30), Moses and the Israelites facing the Dead Sea (Exodus 14:13-16), Nehemiah and opposition to his rebuilding the city of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 4:1-5:14), and other examples. In each instance, boxed in, stressed, with forward progress denied, opposition in place--God was present. In each of these instances, and others, success came with trusting and obeying God. Moses provides a good example: "When things got really bad, Moses obeyed the voice of God...and the dead-end street changed into a thoroughfare."
To each of us, dead ends may seem insurmountable. Yet, according to Brother Garrido, "God permits these situations to show us that there is never reason for despair." To our Cuban brother, seeking to trust and obey God opens the path to victory in the moment and beyond. Jesus Himself understood the significance of obedience; check out . When we face our dead end of the moment, remember and combine that with . We are not alone in His glad service. We know God's presence and have every confidence in His being the God of transformation: changing dead ends to thoroughfares.