Scripture of the Day
The Holy One drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land. And the waters were divided. (
When the people of Israel were enslaved in Egypt, God heard the cries of their suffering. God did not seek compromise; there is no compromise to be made between the oppressor and the oppressed. The demand was decisive and complete: “Let my people go!” Unsurprisingly, the power of the slave masters was not relinquished easily. Whether the plagues were of God or the natural consequence of tyranny, the people of Israel were released, their bonds broken. They fled the cage of Egypt hastily. On the way they had other tribes to avoid and soon thereafter the regretful slave masters eager to recapture them. They came to the banks of the Red Sea and were trapped. No way forward. No way back. No way out. Once again, hearing their cries, God showed up. And the Red Sea was parted. The freedom that was promised to Israel was realized. God makes a way out of no way. I don’t know who coined that phrase first, but I have taken it for an anchor of faith. I love the drama of two walls of water held up by magical intervention. But the scripture as it is written draws me back from the spectacle. It was not magic or instantaneous, but a steady easterly wind. It took all night. And most in the company of Israel did not notice it happening until the sun rose. So, when the way is blocked, I try not to fear the night. For in the deepest hour of my anguish is when the wind does its work. Rarely have I experienced a decisive resolution to heartache. It is almost always a slow process of waiting.
God, blow across the water again and make a way. When I lose faith that any way is possible, cover my sight with blessed darkness. Shroud in mystery the work of your love so that I might not jump too quickly into the waters before they are parted. Teach me a faith able to wait, a faith ready to believe that you are always on my side, a faith willing to trust you are already at work. Amen.