HE KNOWS Exodus 13: 17-22

A few years back my left foot aches with shooting pain.  Can barely walk on it.  Have no idea what I’ve done, if anything.  Now what?  Worse-case scenarios flood my pea brain.  Diabetes beginning?   Probably leading to amputation of this nasty appendage?  Buying a crutch or a wooden leg?  Wheelchair-bound?  See what I mean?

Thankfully, none of the above materializes.  It’s an ailment called plantar fasciitis, an inflammation caused by a heel spur.  I navigate online for some advice, which actually works out rather well.  Dr. Web will see you now!  Purchase a heel support for that foot along with using a firm massage technique.  Both do the trick?  Pain disappears sooner than expected never to return…so far.

In Exodus 13 we read about how sensitive the Lord is to His hurting people, who sweat out four hundred years in slavery.  Will their pain never end?  Or get unimaginatively worse?  Finally, they witness devastating plagues, not on them but upon their enslavers, which leads to their escape through a dry sea bed, which quickly returns to its normal water level drowning their enemies.  A narrow escape.  But slaves no longer!

Yes, they’ve seen what none of us ever has.  Miraculous judgments upon their oppressors.  A clean escape that leads to new life.  So, shouldn’t their faith be strong as strong can be having eyeballed all those miracles God performs for them?  Shouldn’t it?  But hold your horses.  Remember that they’re just coming out from abject slavery.  Must be weak and worn out.  Nerves frazzled.  Looking over their shoulders, wondering who’s gaining on them.   They even romanticize the good old days with all that free food and stuff that never really existed.  Tell them to be strong?

God’s people are about as ready to claim a new land as I am to run a marathon if plantar fasciitis rears its ugly head or foot again.  Don’t land on them with both good feet.  After all, the Lord knows we’re made of dust and clay.  Fragile stuff.  Bent and twisted by others’ sins and our own.  Limping because of pain and suffering.  Needing padded cushions of understanding and encouragement to walk forward while faith massages their feelings.

Exodus 13:17-18–“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near.  For God said, ‘Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.  But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness…'”  The point is that He knows what’s best for His people, for us.  He knows to send us down strange pathways.  He knows throwing a monkey wrench or two in our way will discombobulate us.  But it will work out for our good (you know Romans 8:28).  In His way.

He knows that at the first sign of trouble, we’ll high-tale it back to where we least want to be.  From the frying pan into the fire.  From godly living to godless, fearful, and messed-up existence.  He knows.  So, trust His leading even when it looks like we’re stuck in some nasty dead-end canyon with no escape in sight.

Someone reading this knows all about being stuck.  Locked in and locked down.  Hang in there.  God knows all about it.  About us.  From headaches to pained feet.  The good, the bad, and the rest.  Yet He’s never through with His own.  After all, He knows.  Take His hand.  He knows the way out.  He does.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for knowing me and loving me.  Amen.

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