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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Red Seas of Life -- Two Poems

Last night we heard a good message on the subject of the crossing of the Red Sea in Exodus 14.  I couldn’t help thinking of these two poems, which I love, and which have been a comfort and encouragement to me.  May God bless them to you as well.

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The Red Sea
by Martha Snell Nicholson

When the Children of Israel crossed the sea,
It comforts my heart to know
That there must have been timorous ones
Who faltered and feared to go;

Feared the ribbon of road which stretched
Ahead like a narrow track,
With the waves piled high on either side,
And nothing to hold them back­

Nothing to hold them back but a Hand
They could neither see nor feel;
Their God seemed distant and far away,
And only the peril real.

Yet the fearful ones were as safe as the brave,
For the mercy of God is wide.
Craven, and fearless, He led them all
Dry shod to the other side.

And I think of the needless terror and pain
We bring, to our own Red Sea.
Strengthen Thy timorous ones, dear Lord,
And help us to trust in Thee!

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

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One thought that crossed my mind last night while our brother was preaching was how we sometimes make mud puddles into Red Seas.  While life surely brings us the apparently impassible seas that require a miracle from our Lord to get us through, honestly there are times when it isn’t a Red Sea at all, but we imagine it is.  I have a natural tendency toward this and I know at least some of you do as well. But, regardless of how big the “sea” really is, what a mercy it is from God that He is not limited by our timidity or lack of imagination! 

Ephesians 3:20-21  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

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A Red Sea Place
by Annie Johnson Flint

Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back,
There is no other way but through?
Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind, He will heap the floods,
When He says to your soul "Go on."

And His hand will lead you through - clear through -
Ere the watery walls roll down,
No foe can reach you, no wave can touch,
No mightiest sea can drown;
The tossing billows may rear their crests,
Their foam at your feet may break,
But over their bed you shall walk dryshod
In the path that your Lord will make.

In the morning watch, ‘neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea,
To a land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed,
You shall no more be afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place,
A place that His hand has made.

Psalm 106:9 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.

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Oh, how frightening it is to the flesh to be in a place where “There is no way out, there is no way back, There is no other way but through..”  How we tend to chafe and struggle and doubt, even after we’ve seen the mighty power of God over and over as the Israelites had in the plagues of Egypt.  Would to God our response could always be the response of Moses. Exodus 14:13-14  And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.  The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

It is so hard to stand still and hold our peace when we think we are about to be destroyed and God isn’t paying attention.  Remember the disciples in the boat when Jesus was sleeping and the storm of wind came up?  Luke 8:23-24  But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.  These men had also witnessed the power of God to perform miracles, and yet they thought that their ship was going to sink and they were going to perish when the Son of God was with them!  How silly!  Yet, how like us.  How like me!

What can we do? 

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Philippians 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

1 Peter 1:13  Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

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