Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea. “For Pharaoh will say of the sons of Israel, ‘They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ “Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” And they did so. Exodus 14:1-4
This last month has been an interesting one. At the beginning of October, Briana and I felt like we had everything under control and we felt compelled to step out and make some big decisions. First, we decided to start the Dave Ramsey budget to help get our finances in order. Second, we challenged ourselves with getting all of our support by the end of October. We felt good with these decisions, and we were excited to see what God was going to do!
So what happened? Well, a few days after Briana posted the last blog post, she ended up with Pneumonia, and our lives got flipped upside down. After a trip to the Emergency room one night and a couple days in the hospital, we had to rearrange our plans for awhile. Unfortunately, the Pneumonia knocked Briana down longer than we planned. And then we realized that the Antibiotic was what she was having the allergic reactions to, but that was after we went back to the Emergency room again! We were feeling defeated to say the least. We were having a hard time putting the pieces together on how this all happened. What happened to the whole month of October? WE had PLANS!! There was no time to do any ministry during this time because Briana had to rest to get better, and that led me to go into "Single Dad" mode. We were physically, mentally, and spiritually drained. We were struggling.
Two things helped us through this time and helped opened our eyes to the truth. First, our church family stepped up big time and went over and beyond to help us out. Within one hour of us posting on the computer that we needed some help, families had volunteered to help us out for over a week! Someone was watching our kids all day that week while I was at work, and someone else was preparing supper for us every night. This allowed Briana to just sit and rest. We praise God for the love and compassion that our church showed us at a time that we so greatly needed it.
Second, God led us back to Him through His Word. See, during these draining times in life, it is so easy to pull ourselves away from the Lord. I don't know why we do it to ourselves, but it happens. But our God is so merciful and loving to us, that He patiently waits for us to turn around, and He is there to bring back in! Briana was moved one day with a reading of the book of Job (which I will let her explain in her own words one day). But for me, I had been working my way through the book of Exodus. The night before, Briana and I had a conversation about where God was leading us, and how we knew He was in control, but it was hard to understand from where we were sitting. We both confirmed with each other that we KNEW we were called to Clarion, and that God was doing this for a purpose, for a reason. Then He placed me in chapter 14 of Exodus for my reading the next day.
God had taken the Israelites around the Philistines and took them to the Red Sea. From the Egyptians point of view, the Isrealites looked lost and were wandering aimlessly, and they knew that they could catch them and return them back to Egypt. Then there were the Israelites who wanted to return to Egypt because they could not understand why Moses had led them to this position, a position between a sea, and the army of Egypt! They were stuck. It looked hopeless. There was NOTHING they could do on their own. But God led them on this wandering trip to the sea in order to do something: to demonstrate His power so that He would get ALL the glory, and that the nation of Israel would praise Him and honer Him. He parted the Red Sea and gave a passage way on dry ground for Israel to cross this impassable position. And He made the waters to crash over the army of Egypt! God did it. He wanted the Glory! The end of Exodus 14 says "When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and His servant Moses."
See it might not make a lot of sense to us why God has on this long and wandering path to Pennsylvania. Satan wants us to question our calling, just like Israel did. He wants us to give up and defeat us. But God is victorious! He wants to demonstrate His glory. He wants to show us that He will get us to Pennsylvania, and not by our works. We are excited to see how God gets us through our Red Sea. We are excited to see God deliver us to our destination, and to see how He does it. He wants all the Praise, and He deserves it. Praise God that He is soverign, and He is in complete control.