If Only…

Posted by on Oct 19, 2014 in Faith Words |

Words of Faith
Rev. Rita S. Platt
September 21, 2014
“If Only…”

Exodus 16:2-15

But what have you done for me this week? This question is not new; the Hebrews under Moses’ leadership asked the same thing. Just a few weeks after rejoicing over their escape from Egypt and singing Moses’ (and God’s) praises, the Israelites were fearfully complaining of their discomfort in the wilderness.

“If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt. There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve to death.”  (Exodus 16:3)

The wilderness was a place of hunger and death. In the Sinai peninsula food and water were in short supply. Egypt, on the other hand, was a place where there had been bread and meat. Israel had already forgotten the hardships of slavery and remembered only that there had been enough food to eat.

“If only we were back in Egypt…..”

That’s the way it works when we find ourselves in the wilderness- that place that is difficult –  the  place where we can’t see any way  out.

“If only God had not brought us here.. “ If only we were somewhere else…..

But if God had left us where we were we would miss the new thing God wants to do.

That’s why we need to be here

Egypt had been a place where Israel ate as a reward for labor and productivity.  But in the wilderness, God simply gave the manna.  Bread was simply a gift of grace.  But in order to experience the gift they will need to trust God. And we will need to do it in this place.

“Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day.

On the sixth day they will gather food and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual.” (Exodus 16:4-5)

If we are going to experience the new things God wants to do we have to be in this place.  We need to quit complaining and step out and trust.

But no one said it would be easy. Pause and reflect upon those difficult places you are in. What would it look like if instead of yearning for the past we stepped out into an unknown future?

If we trusted that God would make a way. . .  We can do that because that is the invitation God is giving us as individuals and it is the same invitation we are given collectively as a church.  Step out into this uncertain future . . . trust me. It is going to be ok; I am here.