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When the Journey is Hard




Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.   Exodus 14:21-22

 

When Cecil B. DeMille directed and produced the 1956 blockbuster “The Ten Commandments,” little did he know that his work would join the ranks of shows like “It’s a Wonderful Life“ and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and become an annual presentation on various television stations nation-wide.


His dramatic scenes filmed in Vista Vision brought the story of Moses to life in ways never before imagined. As a kid, I remember watching “The Ten Commandments” with my parents and being enthralled with the scene depicting the parting of the Red Sea. But, as good as it was, it did not tell the whole story.


Consider these facts about the Red Sea: 1) At its narrowest point, it is about 20 miles wide and 221 miles wide at its widest point, 2) at its most shallow place, it is 426 feet deep and up to 3000 feet deep at its deepest point. 


Why are these facts important? Because even at its narrowest and most shallow point, crossing the Red Sea would have been an arduous task. The Israelites, thousands of them, would have had to walk 20 miles, with their families, possessions, flocks, and herds while huge walls of water towered over them. This supernatural event would likely have taken several days and would have been terrifying. In addition to that, God changed his position. According to Exodus 14:19, the angel of God moved from the front of the Israelites to behind them, casting darkness on the Egyptian army and providing light for the Israelites.


In this frightening and difficult journey, it may have seemed that the presence of God left them all alone.


We experience similar journeys, don’t we? Dark and difficult seasons can seem like an endless journey of hopelessness and despair, times of feeling alone and deserted by God. In marriages, those hard seasons may seem like insurmountable obstacles and the only solution is separation.

 

But take heart. God has not left you alone in this journey. Like with the Israelites, He may move, but it is never away from you. Hope lies ahead on any journey where God is present. The journey across the Red Sea was an integral part of Israel’s deliverance to the Promised Land. The journey you may be on with your spouse now can be an integral part of healing for your marriage.

 

Don’t stop walking. Even though it is frightening and long, as God provided a path of deliverance for His children, He has provided a path of deliverance for your marriage. Look for God’s presence in your journey and keep walking. And don’t give up hope. Our God is a Deliverer.

 

If you and your spouse are in a difficult season, sit down together and consider these questions:


(1) Are there things hindering our journey that we need to release - false expectations, resentment, unforgiveness?


(2) Can we trust our Father to lead us, even when He moves to a place that we can’t see?


(3) Will we commit to taking steps toward the Father each day, no matter how difficult or frightening those steps may be?

 


Take time to pray this prayer together:

 

Father, this is hard. Really hard. The journey we’re on right now seems impossible. And, to be honest, sometimes it feels like You’ve left us. But in the midst of all of this, we choose to believe - we believe You are here and You never leave us, we believe this journey leads to a promised land for our marriage, and we believe You have created this path for Your glory. We’re staying on the journey with You. Give us strength for each step.




AUTHOR: David Stephens is a retired school superintendent that has returned to the classroom to teach in a local middle school. He and his wife, Kelly, have been since 2004 and have three children.


Abiding Marriage Post, 2024. Send comments or questions to

Photo by Vera Arsic on Pexels

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