Twenty minutes – that’s how long I’ve been sitting in front of a computer screen trying to think of something to write. To be honest, I’m not sure how long my eyes have been fixated on this outdated version of Word. Maybe it’s been fifteen minutes. Maybe thirty. I should have tried harder in keeping track of time. But if I don’t move-on, I’ll be lingering in the abyss of worry until midnight.
I struggle with anxiety. It’s not something I’m proud of. I worry about my diet, my exercise, my homework, my ministry, my responsibilities, my hair – yes, even my hair. Now that you’re done looking at the picture, let me explain. As you can obviously see, I’m not a girl. But when you have a huge cowlick on the top of your forehead, worrying is inevitable. Thanks grandma! In all seriousness, that’s what you think sometimes. And no, I’m not talking about the cowlick you may or may not have! I’m talking about the worries that seem inevitable.
Maybe you, like me, are on the verge of becoming content with worrying.
But I’ve yet to tell you my biggest worry. It causes the worries that make my hair stand-up look microscopic. My biggest worry is that my efforts won’t be good enough.
It sounds stupid. I mean, the Bible says, “There is none righteous, no, not one…” (Romans 3:10). So why do I worry about being good enough when I know I never will be?
Well, if you and I are anything like the Israelites in Exodus, there’s an enemy chasing after us. It’s in this book where we find God’s chosen nation leaving their bondage in Egypt.
“When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land…” Let me pause here for a moment. Sometimes God doesn’t make sense, so even if the road looks different than you thought it would, keep walking toward the promise. “…God said, ‘If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’ So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea…” (13:17-18).
God always has a purpose behind His direction. Miracles were awaiting the Israelites. One such miracle was the splitting of the sea that God was leading them toward. By the way, God will always lead you in the direction of a miracle. But as we find in Exodus 14, the Israelites almost missed it. With a sea in front of them and an enemy behind them, they were worried to pieces. They go into a long explanation, telling Moses why they should have just stayed in Egypt. Look what you’ve gotten us into, Moses!
“But Moses told the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.’ Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!’” (V. 13-15).
You see, the Israelites were all worried about the approaching enemy, but God had it already worked out. The same is true for you. No matter what circumstance you’re struggling through – no matter what obstacle lies ahead, God is in control. You don’t need to worry about it because it’s not yours to handle. And the Red Sea split in two before the Israelites’ eyes!
I particularly love the verbs found in this scripture. “Stand still…watch…stay calm…get moving.” Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God…”
You get stronger by lifting more. You get faster by running more. You get smarter by studying more. All of this is true, but if you want to go further, you must trust more. Yes, “trust” is a verb too! Without trusting God to meet your needs, you become burnt-out and miss His miracles. I wonder what’s chasing you that wouldn’t be there tomorrow if you only trusted God today? Trust harder than you try.
Isaiah Pauley is a junior at Wahama High School. His blogs and videos can be found at www.crosswordsblog.weebly.com