A long time ago a dear camp speaker, shared this poem with me. It has had a special place in my heart ever since.
Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back,
There is no other way but through?
Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind, He will heap the floods,
When He says to your soul “Go on.”
And His hand will lead you through – clear through –
Ere the watery walls roll down,
No foe can reach you, no wave can touch,
No mightiest sea can drown;
The tossing billows may rear their crests,
Their foam at your feet may break,
But over their bed you shall walk dryshod
In the path that your Lord will make.
In the morning watch, ‘neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea,
To a land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed,
You shall no more be afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place,
A place that His hand has made.
Annie Johnson Flint
Like a Hebrew child, I fought the fears, anxieties and scars of my past. My past being the familiar, but in many ways, an unhealthy place to dwell. And so, when God spoke to my heart and gave me the gift of marriage to my best friend, it was a chance to leave the Egypt of my life behind and journey toward our final home with the family of God’s own choosing. Much like the promised land, heaven stands before me.
Early on in our journey through cancer, I often felt like one of the Hebrew children. The journey was so hard, yet filled with miracles along the way. Some were obvious and some I was too worried and distraught to see. There were days of great joy and there were days of much complaining. In spite of all God provided for us, I was often blinded by the circumstances and hardships we journeyed through. Yet, His promises were “new every morning.”
Soon, just like those Hebrew children, we found ourselves at the “red sea place.” Cancer, much like the raging Egyptian Pharaoh, pursued us faster and faster. Time was running out. We stood at the banks of a sea of unknown depth, at an impass. With Cancer hot on our trail, and nowhere to go, we complained and cried out. Like those Hebrews of old, we’d momentarily forgotten the promises of our Heavenly Father. Promised to rescue us, free us from the bondage of our Egypt (this Earth) and lead us to the promised land (heaven). So, as we stood there on the banks of our Red Sea Place, the waters parted. And we crossed over on dry land, waters rising up in both sides. Frightening and yet, amazing. We faced the obstacles of life together, walked through the hard place and remembered God’s promise to deliver us from the enemy into His promised land of peace outside the clutches of cancer. The enemy, cancer, tried to persue us, but God caused the waters to wash it away as we set foot on the other side of the shore. That moment, Chris was called to the promised land to explore it and make it his home before me. Saved and free from the evil grasp of cancer in glory. I had to say, “until we meet again” for now.
My journey is not over yet, and someday I look forward to meeting him again there. Though I want to stay here, on the banks of the sea, where I said goodbye to my beloved one, I know I cannot. Just behind me the enemy that pursued us for six months, is washing away. Ahead of me the promised land of heaven, many steps, some through the desert, some through the valley and some leading to green pastures beside still waters.
This red sea place, was a painfully beautiful place of victory and loss. Cancer was lost at sea, Chris entered heaven free and healed. The price of leaving Egypt was worth it, painful but beautiful. Stepping off the banks of the sea, onto the other side of cancer. This shore of widowhood and all its many bitter places, its many hollow places and its many dark corners… will be transformed into the light of heaven and the joy on this earth.