Canoe crossing a river between Kekchi villages, Peten, Guatemala

Letting the toaster do its job

I just got back from eating breakfast in a hotel lobby. Some hotel breakfasts are really awful; this one wasn’t too bad. Lots of options. Hot and cold. Everything covered, which is nice because half the people in there were coughing.

There was a guy at the table across from me who was like a veritable chef, taking the different options at the breakfast counter and turning them into some crazy fancy meal. But it was funny. Because he didn’t seem to be able to stay seated for more than a minute. He kept getting up for one reason or another. And then I realized he was making toast. Maybe he didn’t trust the toaster (understandable). I don’t know. But I found it interesting because the way he was acting made me think he thought there was something he could do to make his bread toast faster.

Canoe crossing a river between Kekchi villages, Peten, Guatemala

Canoe crossing a river between Kekchi villages, Peten, Guatemala

Today’s verses are Exodus 14:13-14.

But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like that? You have a goal to accomplish, and you set things in motion but then you have to sit back and wait. And before long you find yourself getting involved again and sticking your hands back into the process because you need to make sure things are still moving along–when really all you’re doing is slowing things down.

I do that all the time because I’m a control freak. I don’t like letting go of things. I don’t like having to trust that other people will do their jobs, especially if the success of my whole project is riding on their perspective of responsibility.

Maybe that’s good in some cases, but when it comes to the big issues in life, it doesn’t work. Because those big moments in our lives are far larger than we are and there’s no way we could even begin to control them.

This passage today comes just before God parts the Red Sea so the Israelites could escape Pharoah’s army. Moses and the Israelites were backed into a corner, so to speak. There was no way they could have survived on their own, so God had to intervene. And there was nothing any of them could have done about it. They just had to sit back and wait.

I find myself in that position almost daily now, where events in my life have gotten so big and so overwhelming that even if I wanted to have control over them I couldn’t change anything. I’m not strong enough, not smart enough, not fast enough, not resourceful enough, not powerful enough to do the things I need to do to achieve success in my life. Maybe I could have when I was younger, but I’m in over my head in so many different areas of my life now that I need God for every step I take.

It’s difficult, admitting you don’t have the skills or resources required to be completely independent. But let’s be honest. Who wants to be completely independent?

The trouble is we have to wait. And the more we fuss and fret and try to stick our noses where they don’t belong, the more trouble we’ll make for ourselves in the interim before God does what He was going to do all along.

The guy who wouldn’t leave the toaster alone this morning probably should have just let the toaster do its job. With all his fussing and poking and adjusting, he ended up with burned toast.

Are you facing struggles? Are you facing challenges? Are difficulties rushing at you in a tidal wave bigger than you think you can survive? God hasn’t left you, and He won’t. Trust Him. Follow Him. Believe Him. And He will make a way for you to get out. He’ll step in and save the day, just like He has done throughout history. But He’ll do it in His own time.

So be still. He’s God. He’s got it handled, and He doesn’t need our help.

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