When I see the traffic sign “multiple curves ahead,” I have to think of some people who experience many twists and turns in the road of life. Without a refuge in life, we are left in a tough spot in this world and for eternity.
Two men were riding on a packed bus. There was no seat to be found. During the drive, they started a conversation. It turns out that one man was a believer and the other a committed atheist, who proceeded to ridicule the man of faith. “Now please, stop talking about your faith. In our sophisticated time, we can’t believe in God anymore! Long ago, when we didn’t know as much, people could be easily fooled. That’s no longer possible. We have to be self-confident, find strength within ourselves.” – To that, the other man replied: “Great. Let’s check that out right away. When the bus rounds the next curve, you can try it out, since you feel we need to find the strength within. You will hold onto your tie – and I will hang onto this handrail. Then we’ll see who has the better ride.”
We all need a foundation in life, a rock that grounds and carries us. When the bus is driving on a straight stretch, that may not seem so necessary, but in the twists and turns of life, it becomes essential.
Let me remind you of the life of Moses. He looked for a source of stability in life, and he found it. The letter to the Hebrews captures this thought in the following sentence: “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). He made the decision to find his foundation in life in the unseen but living God.
Moses was born into a hopeless situation. A death sentence hung over his birth. It was cast by the pharaoh of Egypt with the intent of limiting the growth of the Israelites within his borders. Therefore, it is understandable that his mother carefully hid the little Moses in a basket, placing it in the reeds along the shore of the Nile. There he “happened” to be found by Pharaoh’s daughter who had gone to bathe. Hence, he came to the name of Moses – “drawn out of the water.” This event brought him to the royal court. He was guaranteed his special place in the sun. A splendid future awaited him.
Years passed by. At some point, he came to the realization that his life was on the wrong track, forcing him to make a momentous decision. Fully aware of the implications, he joined the heavily-oppressed Israelites. This decision goes on record: “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26). From this point on, he focused on God, whom he did not see, “for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.”
When you look at his life afterwards, you can truly say it was a very winding road. Later, when God called him to lead the Israelites and to bring the enslaved people out of Egypt, he was faced with a series of challenges. How many problems did these people cause him? How often did he stand there helpless and at his wit’s end! Let me remind you of just a few events: the people grumbled and rebelled, wanting to return to Egypt. They forgot their God and created a golden calf. The situation escalated to the point that Moses realized it wouldn’t take much and they would stone him. In all of these circumstances, he found his security in the LORD. And his God, “who is invisible,” was close beside him, helping him and causing him to reflect in Psalm 90:1 (AMP): “LORD, YOU have been our dwelling place and our refuge in all generations.”
Some of you may see your life in the picture of a winding road. Your life is marked by many trials. Is it not a winding road?
• If you need to take 25 medications on a daily basis and the side effects are almost intolerable?
• What do parents do when their baby is born with health problems or if they lose a child through a tragic accident?
• And what about a couple who is denied the joy of becoming parents?
• What do you do when death suddenly tears your spouse from your side?
• How do you cope when you did not wish to become a single parent?
• What do you do when you are overwhelmed with depression and everything looks dark and hopeless?
• Or when you are burdened with illness and the desired help seems out of reach? I recall a letter in which someone requested prayer while awaiting their 26th surgery(!). How does one cope with such situations without losing heart?
During such times, phrases like “you need to find your inner strength” are misplaced. How can it help someone to hear such advice, when he or she doesn’t know how to make it through the next day? Rather, times like these make us realize we need a refuge, a foundation that is secure and carries us through the next bend in the road. Someone who helps us carry on and not give up despite troubles, distress, and heartbreak.
Moses sought refuge in God and totally counted on Him. According to the Bible, that also means trusting and expecting help from God. Invisible – and nevertheless present. He banked on Him. The awareness of the Invisible One was so ingrained that it made no difference if He was seen or unseen.
The God of Moses offers to be your refuge as well. With God, the “drive” will be better, and you will safely reach the destination. Have no fear. He is holding you. Just hang on tight. He wants to be your “handrail.”
Julia Sterling expresses this implicit trust, this security despite all lack of feelings, this being carried by “Him,” the invisible God, in the following song:
Please take my hand, O Father, and lead me on;
Through life’s hard toil and danger, lead Thou me on.
Alone I would not wander, not e’en one day;
Where Thou dost walk or tarry, there let me stay.
O cover with Thy mercy my weary soul;
May I, through calm or trouble, Thy name extol.
Permit Thy child in anguish rest at Thy feet,
And firmly grasp Thy promise, in faith complete.
E’en when I am not feeling Thy love or might,
Still Thou art safely leading though dark the night.
So take my hand, O Father, ne’er let me roam,
Till life’s long journey ended, and I’m at home.
Why don’t you do likewise and place your hands into God’s Hands, and let them hold and guide you throughout your life? These hands will bring you safely “Home,” even if the road is winding.