As I sat down to pray at 5am this morning, these song lyrics began to circle my brain, and they have remained, resolutely fixed in my heart all day.
There’s a peace that comes to my soul, when I remember You’re in control.
There’s a joy that comes to my heart, when I remember I’m not alone.
Simple. True. Calming to my sometimes-a-little-anxious-heart.
It reminded me of Exodus 14.
You know? The Israelites have just escaped Egypt. They are running into the desert. Into freedom. Into promise. And the Lord warns them that Pharaoh will again chase them in hardheartedness. And he does. He rounds up his army, his forces and all his military strength to go and bring the people back into slavery. And they overtook the Israelites. They looked like they would win.
The Israelites, were understandably petrified. They didn’t get why God would rescue them, just to see them murdered in the desert. And they cry out to Moses.
Moses who patiently answers them in the resolute faith of a man who knows and has heard the voice of the Lord, trusting His deliverance. His complete victory. And he says these words, ‘The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still’.
There are times when the Lord is the one who fights. We are just to trust and be still.
We know the end of this story. The Lord commands the Israelites to trust and move forwards, He parts the Red Sea for them, He stands between the armies of Egypt and the people so that they can cross in safety through the night, and then He brings the victory for them.
But this is my reflection.
All they had to do is trust Him. And cross. Knowing that the waves piled high on either side of them may have looked ferocious, but that they were actually tamed within the boundaries of the Yahweh the Most High God. Knowing that the armies behind them may have looked undefeatable, but that they were actually always subject to the infinite power of the Creator. And knowing, that their Redeemer, He was fighting for them.
I’ve felt a little bit like those Israelites these last few weeks to be honest. Asking God why He just brought me into freedom to leave me in the desert. Questioning how I could move forward when an army stood behind and an uncrossable amount of water stood in front. Not having the faith of Moses.
But the more time I spend in the Presence of God, the more my perspective changes. I understand that like the Israelites, I do not need to fight this battle. I need only to be still. And to trust. To know that the moment my feet touch the waters, the waves will part and I will be completely safe with Him to walk that path. To know that the army behind are not to be feared or run from. To know that those who are hardheartened can be entrusted to the God who knows all things.
Because He has this.
Even when life feels like a hot mess, He has this.
When I was worshipping a couple of days ago, I began to think about Jesus, the man Jesus, whose eyes burn with love for us. He who is the burning and flaming one. And these were the words that I began to sing, over and over.
But as Your eyes lock into my gaze, I can see that You’re all I need.
As Your eyes lock into my gaze, I can see that they’re still burning.
And this is the thought that hit me.
When I run around worrying and fighting and striving in my own strength to put everything right, I end up exhausted, emotional, and a bit of a mess. My ‘Martha’ complex comes out. And I use endless amounts of energy achieving very little. But when I sit. When I am still. When I worship. Then I remember, that I am first and foremost and always a worshipper and a lover of Jesus. And as He again captures my gaze with His burning eyes of love, I remember that He really is more than enough for me. He really is bigger than my worries and greater than the desires of my heart. And I remember that His eyes are still burning. His love is still all encompassing. His opinion of me isn’t swayed.
He’s got this.
And so I can be still.
A few of you have had words these last two weeks for me about being spiritually still… Physically still preparing to move, but spiritually, just being still. Allowing things to become calm. To rest in love and let things wash away. And all I can say is ‘Thank you’, and I think that you are hearing from God. I’ve never valued my friends as much as I have done in this season. And I’ve never loved Jesus more.