The Israelites were frustrated and scared. God had promised them freedom and a new land. Yet here they were, trapped, with the sea ahead of them and the most powerful army in the world behind them.
Have you ever felt this way in your career journey – wondering why you are where you are?
Maybe you’re frustrated – you don’t feel like the job is working out how you thought it would. You might even feel scared about how the assignment will affect your other career prospects, your dreams, etc. You wonder if the dissatisfaction is permanent.
You wonder if God is really looking out for you.
This episode in Israel’s exodus reveals how God is working in the journey. As readers of the Bible, we get to peel back the curtain and see what God was up to, and what we see has some helpful implications for how we trust him in our own journey.
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 led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle. Ex. 13:17-18
God is working for the good of the Israelites. He knew their desire (‘ready for battle’), but he also knew their capabilities. They weren’t prepared for the assignment of taking their new land.
God has your best interests at heart. He is working things for your good. He knows your desires, but he also knows what you are and are not prepared for. If you are questioning your current assignment, try to reconceive it as a time of preparation.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this. Ex. 14:1-4
God is working for his glory. He led the Israelites to the sea in order to demonstrate and bring maximum glory to himself.
God is leading you in such a way that will maximize his glory. Your career journey is about you, but fundamentally it’s about him.
Knowing that God is working all things for our good and his glory helps anchor us in the confusing parts of our journey. Still, we have to respond – we still have a job to do. And our response has to be an active trust.
Here are a couple of ways to bring your faith to work with an active trust in the journey:
- Pursue Relationship – the Israelites were led by God’s presence in the ‘pillar of cloud and fire’ (13:22). We have an even more personal guide – the Holy Spirit, God’s presence inside us. He will speak to us through scripture and prayer. Seeking him is an act of trust in his leadership.
- Work with Excellence – if God is working all things for his glory and our good, then our current situation matters. We must be excellent in our current role. This builds our credibility for witness. This serves those around us. This helps prepare us for future assignments. This honors God. Working with excellence is an act of trust in his leadership.
Your work matters, even when you don’t quite know why. Remember that God is working all things for his glory and your good, and respond with a daily, active trust.
Eventually the seas will part.
Closing the gap together,