2020. From here on we will think of 2020 as a bad dream, a nightmare, a year of setbacks and unforeseen challenges, but it’s not over yet. For me it was a year of issues one after the other, especially my health. Looking back I couldn’t imagine not having the Lord by my side. The hope I had, the joy I’ve had after a fearful night. Through it all it has strengthened me.
The Israelites was in a similar situation – setbacks. In exodus 13:17 we read that God could’ve led the Israelites a different route, an easier route. But He chose a route that had an obstacle that would be placed between their enemies and the Promised land. the Red Sea.
We can only imagine the fear and uncertainty they were facing at that moment. Their enemy, the Egyptians, were closing in on them from behind. The Red Sea, an immovable obstacle, was before them. They had no other options.
Suddenly and unexpectedly, He split the Red Sea. He decimated their enemy before their very eyes. And on the other side they rejoiced. Moses wrote a song of celebration and God gave strength to His people.
Do you believe God can part the Sea that’s in front of you? All He is wanting you to do is just stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Wait and see what He is going to do next. He will get you through it, He will see you through it and He will guide you through!
To grant those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called the oaks of righteousness…
–Isaiah 61:3 ESV
There was a man whose livelihood was in the wine industry. He was asked by a friend if the drought they were having in California was negatively impacting him.
He said no and that actually grapevines are amazing plants because the harsher the weather and the rougher the vines are treated, the better grapes they eventually produce. Their roots are forced to dig deep to get what they need to survive, thus producing healthier plants. This farmer had no idea how true what he said was for life in general.
We will always have an immovable mountain before us, we will always have another wilderness that we are going into or walking out of. However, these are the things that make us dig deep, to find our identity in Him. And to have a sturdy foundation for what comes next, we know in whom we put our trust in and dig even deeper. Let those strange times shape you for the better. We will eventually see fruit coming from them.
God is the vine; we are the branches; and united in Him, we shall flourish. God wastes nothing, and from these ashes, beauty will arise.
weep no more, God can use the ashes of your life. He breathes into the dust just as He breathed into Adam. Dust doesn’t mean the end it has to be present for the new to begin.