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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Crossing Over: No Turning Back

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the Lord, in the pillar of fire and cloud, looked down on the Egyptian army and threw the Egyptian army into a panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. ~ Exodus 14:21-31

We pretty much all know this story, and many of us can't help getting an image of Charlton Heston when we think of it.

And it's true - God saves the Israelites here.

But after the waters are parted, they return and the Egyptians who were unlucky enough to be there, drowned.

But returning the waters meant something other than safety from the Egyptians.

It meant there was no going back.

No going back to Egypt. No going back to slavery.

No going back to whatever comforts were there.

Ahead was wilderness. Ahead was adventure.

Ahead was home. Real home.

It's tempting to want to return to how things were or where we were or how life was when we are transitioning. Change is hard and uncomfortable.

Sometimes it is a body of water or a rule or a new leader that's pushing us onward. Whoever or whatever it is, don't go back. Don't be afraid of the wilderness.

There is no going back. Going back has rarely if ever brought about growth or new life.

  • What challenging thing are you being called to move forward in?

  • What are the wilderness areas of change you are afraid of?

  • When is a time when going through the wilderness of change brought new life or growth for you?

Holy One, keep moving me forward. Amen

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