Taking the path to peace and joy

Exodus 14 : 21, 15 : 1 (first reading for sixteenth week in ordinary time)

• I guess that if I had been one of the fleeing Israelites about to cross the dry land the Lord had made through the sea, I may have been very hesitant to take that first step, especially seeing the high walls of water towering above each side of the path.

And what I would probably be asking of myself is : “What happens if the walls of water come crashing down on me? Will I have any chance of getting back to the shore?”

Yet behind me are the advancing Egyptians and I can’t help thinking that even though God has provided a path between the deep blue sea, submission to the enemy might be an easier option. Why risk losing my life just yet when I can stretch out a few more years labouring for the Egyptians? God won’t mind waiting until another time?

Viewing the path through the sea seems such a long journey to make for God to fulfill his promise. Why couldn’t he make it an easier and less-scary route?

I know at times this is how I have conducted my life, living life in fear and apprehension of what is behind me and what may lie ahead. And if it can happen to me then I’m sure it happens to others as well.

But focusing on potential dangers in life only drives me to seek ways to increase my security from the seemingly constant threats all around.

Unfortunately, it is with this kind of thinking that I get tempted to forget the role of God in my life. I want to be master of my own destiny. My will reigns – or as best as I can make it. Paranoia, driven by fear and insecurity comes knocking on the door, drowning out the gentle tap of Jesus.

The Egyptians only felt secure when they were in control, especially of the Israelites. They just did not want to let them go. God did many things to persuade them, but their hearts were stubborn. Finally they gave chase, equipped to recapture and take control with weapons, armour, horses and chariots. These possessions empowered them, or so they thought. But the outcome was their heavy equipment bogged them down and they couldn’t make any headway along the path the Lord had created. When the waters came over them, the sheer weight of their possessions dragged them to the bottom of the sea. They went down like lead into the mighty waters.

It is difficult to take the path the Lord provides when we carry our baggage and possessions as security. Just ask any person fleeing from their home or land in a war zone. They start out carrying as much as they can, but as they continue to flee from disaster the refugee eventually begins to accept that they will make their escape much more quickly if they discard the load on their backs.

Meanwhile, filled with courage, the Israelites had started out on the path the Lord had opened for them. And with each stride the length of the huge walls of water decreased and their anxieties and fears subsided.

Every step of the march through the sea became an opportunity to unload a burden and not get clogged down as the Egyptians. No wonder the people, their faith renewed, venerated the Lord when they reached the other side!

Dear children! Today I pray for you and with you that the Holy Spirit may help you and increase your faith, so that you may accept even more the messages that I am giving you here in this holy place. Little children, comprehend that this is a time of grace for each of you; and with me, little children, you are secure. I desire to lead you all on the way of holiness. Live my messages and put into life every word that I am giving you. May they be precious to you because they come from heaven. Thank you for having responded to my call. June 25, 2002

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