Exodus 14:21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
I have read the story of the Israelites and the Exodus dozens of times. I have seen the movies, both the old Charlton Heston one and a few newer renditions. Those movies influenced my mind’s eye of how the parting of the Red Sea happened . . .until today. I noticed two small words in the passage from Exodus – “all night”. In the movies, Moses raises his hand and, swoosh, the sea parts just like that. In the Bible, it says it took all nightlong. All night the crowd of refugees stood trapped between a sea they could not cross and the Egyptian army drawing closer to enslave them again. All night long Moses kept the faith and waited for the wind to do God’s bidding.
That got me to thinking how often I see the end results of good things and “miracles” in other’s lives and never see the “all night longs” that proceeded them. The dark times of patiently waiting for God to act while danger was drawing nearer, the paths seemed blocked or the situation hopeless. How often is God preparing miracles in the background of my life that have not yet come to fruition because the timing is not right? How many “all night longs” are taking place in my life right now? How many prayers prayed are in the process of being answered that I cannot yet see?
Oh, me of little faith. This morning those two little words tucked into a story I have heard all my life convicted me and brought me humbly to my knees. Thank you, Father for showing me that You work in our lives, even through the dark of night when we are not aware of what is to come. Thank you for the miracles Your love is preparing for me to receive just when I need them, but maybe not when I think I do.
Jesus asked his disciples in the Garden to help keep watch all night long. Peter waited in a prison, singing hymns of praise all night long until the chains fell and the doors opened. In Daniel, the three young men waited in a fiery furnace and came out unscathed. Moses watched that Red Sea all night long. In my dark nights of my life, help me to keep that vigil as well, watching for the time Your will breaks through to save me and lead me forward. Amen.