for those who didn't grow up with sunday school lessons on flannel boards, read the story them self, or never saw the epic The Ten Commandments film, well, there is this story in the book of Exodus about how God divided the Red Sea so that His chosen people could cross on foot and avoid being captured by Pharaoh and his army-returning them to the slavery and bondage they were recently absolved from. in this story, prior to their being freed, God performed a bunch of strange and spectacular signs and wonders in order to soften Pharaohs heart and demonstrate to Pharaoh that He meant business. the Hebrews too witnessed all this, but when they stood there against the waters edge as Pharaoh and his army drew closer and closer, they doubted. i use to hear this story and marvel at how they could do such a thing considering Everything. i use to imagine if i had been there i would have been hanging out with moses saying things like, "seriously. can you believe these people!!?!?".
today, as the boys and me were driving to the beach, inclining to that point on Kanan Rd where you catch your first glimpse of the Pacific- all glittering and blue, misty and bright- this story was brought to mind. i humorously appended an additional scene to the established narrative: in it some boats came along and the people all cheered and sighed a great sigh of relief thinking this was the plan, this was how God was going to save them and get them to safety when suddenly, right in front of their eyes, all the boats sprang leaks and sunk.
the Hebrew people, while just a smidgen more dramatic than me, have something in common with each other: we both had observed the hand of God on a situation but when things got confusing we both went here:
"Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!"
i wrote a blog sometime ago, one i have yet to publish, that is about how love is a choice. as i reflected about the story in Exodus and how i was no better than those faithless Hebrews that i realized, just like love, faith too is a choice: (as someone obsessed with patterns and analytics, i can't believe i failed to see the similarities in love and faith.)
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
right there in the car, five more minuets till beach side, the boys in the back intermediately interrupting my train of thought with requests for the goodies in our picnic basket or informing me how the other one was wronging the other, i knew, regardless of my ability to understand or the tattered emotions involved, that the faith needed wasn't going to come naturally this time, but if i was going to access it, then i had to, point blank, chose to.
i can't see it. i can't feel it. but i'm going to believe in it: i know Him, i know His voice, i know He is good to me.
and during the meantime i'm going to take that same advise Moses gave the Hebrew people,
"just stay calm."