“And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” – Exodus 14:15-16
There they were; after hundreds of years of slavery, the Israelites had left Egypt. But the cheering had subsided. In front of them was nothing but water. To the left and right for as far as the eye could see was an expanse of desert and desolation, and then they began to hear the Earth rumble…the ground shake, and the rear guard of the camp sounded the warning, “The Egyptians are coming!”
The next thing I want to point out is that no captor likes to lose. The thing that once held you in bondage does not throw a “going away” party for you. Eventually, your past wants to trail you, catch up with you, and reclaim you as its own. You can never truly appreciate freedom until you are sobered about what you left. Nothing about leaving Egypt is easy, and often bondage seems easier than living in freedom. But if you go back, if you wait, you will hear the chariots behind you. They want you back!
Lastly, I want to speak about Moses in this moment. God showed plague after plague and gave protection over and again with the same rod that was in his hand. But the sound of Egyptians behind him made him forgetful of what was in his hand. How will you get through this next season? How do you say no to the past? How do you dwell in victory? You must remember what is in your hand! Moses prayed to God for help, and God shot right back at him with, “YOU silence the people! Use what is in your hand!” Everything that you have ever needed is already within you. You did not come this far, to only come this far. Should the sound of chariots and the remembrance of yesterday’s bondage give you a sudden case of amnesia; I want to encourage you that you already have the answer that you are looking for. You don’t need another opinion; you don’t need new resources. You need to stop and remember what is in your hand! It worked for David when facing Goliath; it worked for Jesus when feeding the five thousand. Use what is in your hand!
This teaching reminds me of mothers, and in particular, my mother, Jeanette Elizabeth. I remember days walking into the kitchen where I knew that there was nothing in the cupboard, only to smell the most delicious dinner cooking minutes later. Mothers are like that. Resilient. Ambitious. Resourceful. You don’t have to worry about how God is going to do it. You need to rest in the fact that He IS doing it, and He will use what you have to make it come to pass! Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!
Cleo Dailey, III is a minister, freelance writer, and author who has written for several city and nation-wide publications. He is currently releasing his newest memoirs this summer while studying to obtain a degree in both English and Clinical Psychology in Peoria, IL.