Have you ever been so full of joy that you could barely stand still, due to a mighty move of God? Do you ever find yourself wanting to bust a move in celebration of God coming through? You are not alone! I have often been overwhelmed by the goodness of God. The Israelites found themselves with this same feeling in Exodus 15. God’s miracles often turn into a party of worship. The question, though, is what do we do when the music seems to suddenly stop?
In Exodus 14, God did an absolute miracle for the Israelites. He had recently brought them out of their slavery in Egypt and was taking them to the land of promise. On their journey, they came to the shore of the Red Sea with the Egyptians chasing behind them. They thought that their freedom was short lived and expected to die right there by the sea. God stepped in. He parted the waters of the Red Sea so that the Israelites could walk through it on dry ground. When the Egyptians came in after them, God released the waters and killed them in the sea.
This miracle was clearly worth celebrating and praising God for, which is exactly what Israel did next. The majority of chapter 15 recalls the song that Moses and the Israelites were singing in worship. They had just seen God come through for them in a mighty way and they could not help but sing. Not only that, but it quickly turned into a dance party!
“Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing.” (Exodus 15:20)
We can all relate. I have wanted to bust a move a few times in my life! This, however, is not the point that I want to get to. The point is what happened next. After the dance party, the Israelites set out for a three day journey into the wilderness. Scripture says that they found no water. When the came to Marah, they could not drink the water because it had a bitter taste. Verse 24, four verses after the dance party, is shocking.
“And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, ‘What shall we drink?'” (Exodus 15:24)
This blows my mind. It is also convicting because I have acted the same way. These people had literally just seen the Red Sea open up and become a dry path three days earlier. They saw a human impossibility happen right before their very eyes. Now, they were worried about God providing a drink?!? They were willing to celebrate a miracle of God, but they were unwilling to trust God for a glass of water. Have you ever been there? I know that I have.
We are so quick to celebrate what God does in our lives today, but we are very slow to trust Him with tomorrow. We, just like the Israelites, look to God and ask, “What have you done for me lately?” The very nature of this question is crazy! God is continually, in grace, giving you your every breath! How in the world are we so quick to forget His faithfulness? Why does the dancing stop as soon as we think the music dies down? How do we forget the miracles when we suddenly feel abandoned? The key to a faithful, joyous, and God-glorifying life is learning to keep dancing when the music is quiet.
If you continue reading in Exodus, you will see the same theme continue on. In chapter 16 and 17, the Israelites were complaining about not having food and water. Guess what? God came through every time! If you read all the way to chapter 32, you will read about them becoming impatient and making a false god to worship. They became impatient with a God who continued to do miracle after miracle! This is what the human heart does. We are so quick to worry and lose faith. The Red Sea parting is amazing in the moment, but as soon as our tongues get thirsty we forget all about it. So what are we to do? First, we are to continually remember the goodness and faithfulness of God.
What are you afraid of right now in this moment? What is keeping you from dancing your heart out? Don’t let your dry mouth keep you from remembering the Red Sea. Most times, if we put our fears and worries up against our biggest break through, we will start to get our faith back. For instance, what is a glass of water in comparison to the splitting of the sea? If God can split a sea wide open, then He can certainly quench your thirst. Remember how He has been faithful. God has not changed. Even in the wilderness He will continue to show up time and time again.
Second, we need to continually gaze upon the cross of Christ. The cross should leave us with an unshakeable faith. If God was faithful enough to slay His own Son for us, then what are we concerned about? Everything else is easy for Him. This is what Romans 8:32 graciously shows us. These words of Paul are sweet medicine to the soul in the middle of the wilderness.
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
God sending His Son to a cross was infinitely harder for Him than splitting the Red Sea. Therefore, we have literally nothing to fear. Anything He does for us beyond the cross is easy for Him! Even if you forget the miracles He has done in your life, never forget the cross. The hardest task for God has already been accomplished. In comparison, the thing you are fearing right now is easy for God to do. Cling to this truth. Remember what He has done. The music may seem to quiet down from season to season, but the cross proves otherwise. Remember the sea splitting open and don’t stop dancing. Don’t ever stop dancing!