Stuck between a Rock and a hard place – Have you ever been there? Are you there? This story is for you. I thought of this saying when thinking about the almost end of The Story for this week. The Israelites were finally free and on the move. Probably a herd of turtles, but on the move none-the-less, as quickly as possible away from Egypt. Pharaoh changed his mind through the plagues saying yes you can go – oh, no you cannot. I imagine that in the back of every Israelite mind lurked the fear of another change of heart by the Pharaoh. And sure enough their greatest fears came to life. True to form, Pharaoh did change his mind, and brought an army of chariots with him. This might have been the first tortoise and the hare story.
The people of God are pinned up against the Red Sea with an army swiftly approaching the tail end of the group – the stragglers. Talk about stuck between a rock and a hard place! I love what happens next, the presence of God moves from the front of the people to the rear. The rear guard is in place. A pillar of fire shines on God’s people and a cloud blocks the Egyptians view.
I told this story to the children during third service this week. At this point in the story we say, and Moses came so close to God, and God came so close to Moses that he knew exactly what to do. At the end of the story we ask questions and reflect. One of the questions is: What part of the story do you like best? One child raised their hand and said … when God came so close. Well, I like that part too. Then we ask, what part of the story do you think is most important? Another child answered… when God came so close… Yes, I think they might be on to something. In the middle of being stuck between the Egyptians and the sea, the people panicked and Moses came close to God, so close in fact, that he knew what God wanted him to do.
This story reminds me that for those stuck between a rock and a hard place times when I want to panic, I need to remember that God has my back. The best thing to do is follow Moses’ lead, come close to God and listen for God to come close to you. I know it’s the part I like the best, and it might even be the most important.
Blessings for the Journey,