There’s a scene at the end of Ridley Scott’s film ‘Exodus : Gods and Kings’ when the Israelites are standing on the shore and staring the vast expanse that stands between them and freedom. Behind is the Egyptian army. In front of them is the sea. The choices are thus: stay on the shore and surely die, or to walk into the sea and only possibly die. Obviously, they choose the second option, and, as no surprise, they make it to the other side. In an unprecedented feat, an entire nation of people cross a sea and live to sing about it afterwards.
But even as I was watching the scene, I lost track of it. For a moment, it wasn’t the climax of the story. Instead, it was a picture of mankind since the very beginning to the very end. All of us, weary and wandering with blisters on our feet and dust in our eyes. All of us, eager for something better, but unsure of where to find it or how to attain it. Bruised and heart sick. Beaten down and ripped apart by life. Composed of pieces that have been broken and patched together far too many times.
And we’re standing between a sea of unpredictability and the stability of the shoreline—the edge of something unknown. But the unknown can be scary. And the shoreline is familiar. So the obvious choice is to settle and remain because sometimes, remaining sustains us. Sometimes, it even keeps us alive. But other times, remaining bleeds us dry.
And then God beckons us forwards. Into the water. Past the point of comfort. Beyond a place of ease. He asks us to wade into the water. And then He waits. Generation after generation, He waits. Nation after nation, He waits. People after people, person after person, He waits. For hundreds upon hundreds of painstaking years, He’s watched and waited for us to choose life over death, to step out on pure, blind faith, and to trust that which we cannot understand.
And though some of us (most of us) choose the shoreline and it’s false promise of safety, some of us accept the exodus. We step into the waters. And when we do, when we make that decision to shuffle off the chains of our former masters and step into the sea, something strange happens. Dry land appears beneath our tired feet. And a path takes shape before us. A path we didn’t know was there. And as the waters recede, so does our fear of them.
Our lives may look and feel aimless. From our limited vantage point, the trek is harsh and unforgiving. And when we finally stop to catch our breaths, there’s suddenly a sea in front of us, and we’ve never learned to swim. But there’s a God high above us, with understanding and depth and power that our finite minds can never match. The truth is there is a pathway hidden from our sight beneath the water, just waiting to be walked on. Just waiting for a God big enough to uncover it. And a God that promises a a way across the sea is a God worth wading in the waters for.