Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Exodus 14:15-22 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. 16 But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. 17 Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.”
19 The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20 It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22 The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, freedom must have seemed an impossibility. The sea was an insurmountable obstacle and yet God made a way for them to pass through it and move forward.
A number of years ago I was on a mission trip to Kenya with other members of the church. I was standing near the church where we were holding a Vacation Bible School for the children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic with a guitar in my hand. A youth named Charles saw me there with the guitar and came over to ask me if I knew a certain song. I did. But, before I played and he sang it, he told me his story and why that song meant to much to him.
Both of Charles’ parents died from AIDS when he was eleven years old and he was sent to live with an uncle. That uncle was abusive and did not want to share his resources—especially any inheritance he might have from his parents—so he banished Charles from his home. First, he banished him to the toilet, where he had to sleep at night for some shelter. It was in that situation that Charles prayed for help and almost like hearing a voice, the words came to him that God would make a way for him. After a couple of weeks he was forced to leave. He found his way to the home of a kindly woman who was a member of the Methodist church in that village and she took him in to care for him. It was in that church that he learned the song that he sang with me that day. I’ll never forget Charles and the way he sang that song of faith:
God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, God will make a way
That good Methodist woman who took him in was part of God making a way. The work of our church in partnership with the Methodist Church of Kenya was part of God making a way.
How is God making a way for you today? How is God using you to make a way for someone who can’t see a way?
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster