Tuesday, April 4, 2017

He Parted the Sea

"The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." 
Exodus 14:14

This verse has been a constant reminder over the last 18 months that God is the one who fights my battles for me. In the midst of our hard season, He gently and frequently reminded me that my job is not to defend myself, my husband, or my family, but my job is to be still while He fights battles in hearts that only He can fight. 

As anger would grow or fear would rise up in my heart, I would hear Holy Spirit's sweet soft whisper of these words. 

It is calming to know that the God of Heaven is fighting for you.
It is hard to sit in the difficult moments and not try to fight your own battle. 
The struggle is even harder when it doesn't look like He is fighting for you
When untrue words are being thrown around about your character. When those who claim love for you devise and work out plans to clear their name by speaking harsh words about you. When friends choose to believe those untrue words rather than the character of the one they've known for years. 

Not fighting is hard. 
But that was the command He gave me continually.
And let's be honest, my words have no power to change hearts or minds...only He can change hearts and minds.

Throughout those hard months I never once was lead anywhere beyond Exodus 14:14. If you'd have asked me for the context of the verse I wouldn't have been able to give it to. It was simply the promise that I clung to through it all. And honestly, I believe that was His plan in that moment. 

It wasn't until February when I attended IF:Gathering in Austin that He peeled back another layer for me to see. 
Ellie Holcomb was singing her song  "Red Sea Road" and prior to it she gave a small introduction as to how the song came to be. She quoted Exodus 14:14 and my ears perked up...that was my verse. Then she said "Do you know what happens after that?" 
Umm...no. I had no idea. 

Here's context--

The Israelites are up against the Red Sea with Pharaoh's army closing in on them. They literally have no where to go. They were afraid. That is when Moses reminded them that God was fighting for them. As the Egyptians moved closer, "Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind...and the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground" 

As Ellie Holcomb unpacked this scene with her words, my eyes filled with tears. I realized in that moment that I had been like the Israelites--staring an ocean in the face while being pursued by men who were not seeking my good. Where was I to go? Oh, how many times I (we) felt stuck. How many times we begged God for direction, a way out! And only then in a room filled with a couple thousand women worshiping Jesus did I see that God did that for me
It wasn't easy...waiting on Him to fight for me. But He made a way out of a spiritually abusive situation by providing another ministry opportunity with leaders who stood by us in the face of accusation. 

Then the lyrics of the song began to flow through the speakers of the auditorium and I felt as though Ellie Holcomb was singing the story of my life. Tears flowed. But not sad tears. Tears of joy and thankfulness that I got to see Holy Spirit prepare a way for me through what seemed like impossible circumstances. He made a road through the ocean for me...and He's still doing that. 

Even from those first words "We've buried dreams", the song spoke to me. 
Because that's what my husband and I have done these last couple years. We've watched our dreams of being sent to church plant die. Yet God's promises of redemption are true...and He has given us new dreams. Different dreams. Dreams that could have only come from Him. And He is giving life to them! 

Ellie Holcomb's other song "Find You Here" has been a deep encouragement through these days as well. I'd encourage you to find it and take a listen.

"We've buried dreams
laid them deep into the earth behind us.
Said our good-bye's at the grave
but everything reminds us.
God knows we ache, when he asks us to go on
How can we go on? 

We will sing to our souls
we won't bury our hope.
Where He leads us to go
there's a red sea road. 
When we can't see the way, 
He will part the waves
And we'll never walk alone 
down the red sea road.

How can we trust
when you say you will deliver us 
from all of this pain
that threatens to take over us
well, this desert's dry
but the ocean may consume
and we're scared to follow you

We will sing to our souls
we won't bury our hope
Where He leads us to go
there's a red sea road.
When we can't see the way
He will part the waves
and we'll never walk alone 
down the red sea road." 


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