When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, "Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is this what we said to you in Egypt: 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness." And Moses said to the people, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent."
- Exodus 14:10-14 (ESV)
Hopeless situations are daunting. In these moments our minds have free reign to imagine the worst scenarios and convince us it's guaranteed to happen. When our hearts are weighed by anxiety or fear we tend to validate those feelings. We love to tell ourselves what’s unfair, what’s worth to worry over, who's to blame, etc. We like control and are timid to give it up to God.
The more I dig into the Old Testament of the Bible; I see how similar we are to God’s chosen people. During the exodus out of Egypt when the Israelites saw their enemy engulfing them, they caved. It was easy for them to trust the Lord when they witnessed his plagues like covering Egypt in darkness and turning the water of the Nile into blood. When obstacles arose though, they wanted the security of slavery rather than a promise of freedom with God. How often do we act like that? When life is going well we praise and thank God. When we are plagued with hopelessness though, we then point the blame to God and convince Him that we know better, I can say I have fallen victim to this. Who are we, mere humans, to put ourselves above God?
The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.
• Psalm 37:23-24 (ESV)
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
• Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
I know I am not alone in saying this year has dealt me some bad cards. My career feels stagnant, loneliness never evades me, I know of marriages that are standing on thin ice, I have loved one in financial stress, and I can’t even count the unknowns of what the future holds since
COVID-19. The weight of this world seemingly grows heavier and heavier each day.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
• John 3:16 (ESV)
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
• 1 John 4:18 (ESV)
Don’t forget that God loves you! Live your life to the fullest! He has gone before us and is our rear guard. It is comforting to know that through the chaos of life we only have to be still in the Lord for him to fight for us. Allow His will to be done, and to live life with no fear.
Find joy in these moments, as tough as it may seem to muster the courage to trust God, trust Him. God does his best work in the hopeless situations. You cannot find anyone in the Bible who faithfully followed God without first facing a hopeless situation. Read Hebrews 11 for proof. When all other options have been worn out, when it couldn’t get worse, and everything else has failed... that is when God shows up.
The Lion Chaser's Manifesto
Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.
Run to the roar.
Set God-sized goals.
Pursue God-given passions.
Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.
Stop pointing out problems. Become part of the solution.
Stop repeating the past. Start creating the future.
Face your fears
Fight for your dreams.
Grab opportunity by the mane and don't let go!
Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.
Burn sinful bridges.
Blaze new trails.
Live for the applause of nail-scarred hands.
Don't let what's wrong with you
keep you from worshiping what's right with God.
Dare to fail.
Dare to be different.
Quit holding out.
Quit holding back.
Quit running away.
Chase the lion.
Only God can turn a mess into a message, trial into a triumph, test into a testimony, and a victim into a victor.
- Drew Dahm