July 31, 2023
“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14
Each July, in Northern Michigan, thousands of people gather to witness the start of a canoe race. Not simply a short race down a river but a marathon, spanning 120 miles from Grayling to Oscoda. To make things more complicated, the AuSable Canoe Marathon begins at 9:00 pm. On the website, this marathon is described as “grueling” and a “battle” against “darkness and fatigue”. Teams paddle nonstop all night, supported by feeders following them on land, to complete the race.
Despite the enormity of the challenge, last weekend 110 teams raced, and my cousin was on one of those teams. It was his second time doing the marathon and after learning about the training, talking through his experience, and watching him race, one word comes to mind, endurance. Endurance is absolutely necessary to complete the canoe marathon. Not just physical endurance but also mental and emotional. Yes, physical training, adequate nourishment and technical skill are important but the key is the ability to endure the pain and discomfort.
Endurance in our faith journey is just as important. Many times we do not feel adequate to handle the situations we are in and in those moments, endurance and trust in God’s plan are vital. Moses is a prime example of this.
In Exodus 3 Moses is enjoying life as a shepherd when he has an unbelievable encounter with God. The Lord speaks to him through a burning bush and tells Moses that he is going to send him to Pharaoh to save his people. Moses’ reaction isn’t excitement but disbelief and fear. In Exodus 3:11 he says “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” He doesn’t think he is qualified for the job. But God promises his presence and power will be with him. Despite his fear and feelings of inadequacy Moses endures. He trusts God’s plan and follows God’s call.
God’s plan for Moses’ life was not easy. He faced the most powerful man in Egypt, watched plagues ravish the land, faced Pharaoh’s army, handled anger from God’s people, and wandered in the wilderness for years. I can imagine there were times when he wanted to give up, but he didn’t, he persevered. His enduring faith is seen in Exodus 14:13-14: “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today…..The Lord himself will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Moses’ enduring faith is a reminder to hold onto God, even in the midst of trial. God’s plan may not always be clear but he is always with us and will deliver us, even from the challenges that seem impossible.
Take a moment to reflect. Have you cried out to God about the areas of life that feel like a grueling battle? When the trials seem too large, how can you remind yourself to cling to God? Who in your life could use prayers for endurance and how can you encourage them today?
Dear Lord, we thank you for being our Father who knows our joys and pains. When life seems to be a battle and weighs us down, help us to endure like Moses. Thank you for the promise that you have a plan and you are always with us. Give us the courage to hold on to you and call upon you for help. We pray this in your son’s name, Amen.
Spiritual Care Coordinator
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