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The Difference

Chris standing in his bedroom and wearing his NASCAR shirt

 For the last few days, I've been taking a look at the Children of Israel's exodus from Egypt. This story has so many details about how God does things. While we want to know His ways, not just His deeds (Psalm 103:7), the things He does give us a purer glimpse at who He is. That's what stopped me in Exodus chapter 15 during my reading this morning. 

Get this picture. The Israelites have just seen God's hand bring them out of Egypt. He totally delivered them from a life of slavery and oppression. That's just the first big thing. After that, He brought them across the Red Sea, destroying Pharoah's army and sweeping them away in the collapsing sea. I call that "God's triple play!" 

Seriously, these people just witnessed God do great miracles. Their feet had just crossed across the dry bed of the Red Sea. Their eyes had seen Pharoah's army be swept away in the waves. Their voices had just sung I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously - the horse and the rider were cast into the sea!  They had played the tambourine and danced their hearts out at the great victory God had wrought.

But three days later, they come to Marah, the place of bitter water. They were distraught. I'm sorry. But I relate. No matter how many deliverances I witness, my first response is to throw up my hands and question what now? But God led Moses to put a tree in the bitter water. And that particular tree healed the water and made it drinkable. 

When caregiving, there are times it feels bitter to our souls. It's difficult emotionally, physically, socially, financially, and spiritually. Did I cover everything? But the one thing that can make it sweet is the tree - not just any tree, but the cross, which is what the tree in Exodus 15 symbolizes. Because even in the midst of our deepest, darkest, most troubling days - the cross remains. That makes the difference for me. 

I remember when I realized that even though my life changed with one phone call - God didn't change. I had a LOT of emotions to work through, but eventually, it dawned on me that I was still saved. Lol. God didn't step down off the thrown when life as I knew it ended. Not one of God's attributes changed on November 8, 2008. I simply learned new facets of His grace, His mercy, His tenderness toward His people, and His deep love. I'll admit I had to redefine faith in the midst of the trial because faith does look different for us furnace-walkers. I learned to trust more as I realized the work on the cross was not reversed by my situation. Knowing that not one thing about God changed when my life changed - made all the difference.

Today, I'll remind myself that God still hasn't changed. He has not thrown in the towel or unplugged His mercy. His attributes remain intact. My meditations will be on how He extends more grace and mercy toward me and never withdraws them from me. I'll set my thoughts on the power of the cross and how caregiving can't erase it, remove it, or weaken it in any way. I'll be thankful for God's all-sufficient grace that has carried me thus far - and I'll trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Today's live devotions, Peace Out!


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