The road from Dahab to Mount Sinai in Egypt in 2007. Photo by Heather.
The miracles that God did through Moses described in detail in Exodus are simply marvelous. Besides the resurrection, they are arguably the most spectacular display of God’s extraordinary, creative and unfathomable power, justice and fight for freedom recorded in history. Never before and never since has there been such a fireworks display of God’s authority and the supernatural physically engaging with the natural world of that magnitude.
I can only imagine the power, the determination and the focus all exploding in the scene of the Israelites marching out of the neighborhood, all at once, in Exodus 13. Talk about a parade of chaos! The animals, the children, the older folks lagging behind…Moses probably felt more like a cat wrangler than a leader of God’s chosen people. The chaos may have seemed uncontainable yet was completely controlled.
It’s here where Moses takes the time, the ink and the room on the scroll to let us know about one specific direction:
“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’ So God lead the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.”
“…by the desert road…”
Dry. Empty. Tiring. The long road. A path that none would choose to travel if given a choice. Thank God, literally, that it wasn’t their choice. And, often, it’s not ours.
It’s the long road that protects us from the Enemy. It’s the long road where we learn to trust. It’s the long road where we see God’s spectacular power. It’s the long road that teaches mercy and justice, grows love and rescues. It’s the long road that protects from the dangers that we’re not prepared to face, even though we feel like we are “ready for battle.”
Foster care is a long, long…long, long, long…long road that sometimes seems to be leading through a desert feeling dry, empty and tiring. It is a journey calling for trust and love that feels outside of the Lord’s power in us, even if our intellect reminds us that there is nothing impossible for God.
It’s also where we are allowed the privilege of being the people who Jesus chooses by name to walk alongside foster children and lead them to places with less danger. It might take a little longer to understand God’s love, provision and trust when it feels too long, but it ultimately leads to the next chapter in their story for which they will be better prepared because of the adventure taken down the long road.
How have you seen God provide and grow in love and grace for you, your biological family or your foster children while walking down the long road that – perhaps – you wouldn’t have chosen if it weren’t for the Lord giving you directions?