TURNING SETBACKS…INTO OPPORTUNITIES!

EXODUS 14:10-14: “When Pharaoh drew near, Bnei-Yisrael lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them! So they were terrified, and Bnei-Yisrael cried out to ADONAI. They said to Moses, “Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness because there were no graves in Egypt? Why have you dealt this way with us, to bring us out of Egypt? Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone, so that we may serve the Egyptians?’ It was better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!” But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of ADONAI, which He will perform for you today. You have seen the Egyptians today, but you will never see them again, ever! ADONAI will fight for you, while you hold your peace.” (TLV)

OBSERVATIONS: How do I view setbacks in my life? Like everyone else, I love it when a plan falls into place. However, when my plans take unexpected turns, detours, and face countless delays, it can be very disappointing. And when these delays are compounded it can leave me wondering why I even began the journey.

I think each one of us would be standing with the children of Israel and complaining if we were in their shoes. Oppressed for over 400 years in the land of Egypt, led out of Egypt with God’s mighty hand, only to find themselves now trapped in between the Red Sea and the sea of Pharaoh’s army. No matter how you looked at it, it was not good. Had they taken this journey of hope only to die in the desert? Right now their homes in Egypt looked pretty good!

Recently I have been working on a project that is very dear to my heart. It is a project that was born out of prayer, and I truly felt the Lord leading me every step of the way. Then, just when I thought it was completed the delays and detours began. There was a time when I thought that the project would never be completed. I would face one delay, one detour, press through and make changes, only to face another. I prayed for guidance, and I kept persevering. However, as I faced continued delays and redirection I felt like the children of Israel. I questioned whether I had truly heard from the Lord.

The word of the Lord from Moses to the children of Israel resonated in my heart this morning as I read it. Moses stood before the frightened and disappointed children of Israel and proclaimed,

  • “Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of ADONAI, which He will perform for you today. You have seen the Egyptians today, but you will never see them again, ever! ADONAI will fight for you, while you hold your peace.”

“Stand still!”

“See the salvation of the Lord which He will perform for you!”

“The Lord will fight for you!”

“Hold your peace!”

What powerful words, and what a wonderful reminder and call to faith. As I meditate upon these words, and as I look back over the project dear to my heart, I can see that this is exactly what the Lord has been doing.

What I viewed initially as delays and disappointments have become opportunities and blessings. As I trusted in the Lord, and as I persevered in the project, I found that the setbacks were for my benefit and for the benefit of the project. And now, as I near completion, what this project has become is far more than I ever would have been able to accomplish on my own. The Lord used wonderfully gifted and patient mentors with special gifts of expertise to raise this project to a new level. What I thought initially was the end of the project was actually the beginning.

Through it all I have seen the Lord part the sea of my disappointment and lead me on the dry ground of His provision and blessing!

This morning, as I face my day I have a choice. I can try to push ahead in my own strength, or I can stand still and see the salvation of God. To stand still is not a call to inactivity. Contrary, it is a call to only act when and where God leads. And when He shows us the way, we are to charge ahead with faith and courage! As my view of the disappointments and delays has changed, my engagement and effort in my project has increased. And I have found a joy and expectation that I did not have before. An expectation of God’s miraculous touch upon the works of my hands!

Lord, this morning I stand still waiting for Your voice. Speak to my heart, show me the way, and grant me the grace and faith to walk in it!

  • “Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of ADONAI, which He will perform for you today.”

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is pastor of The Fellowship at Weatherford, a Foursquare Church in Weatherford, Texas. He has developed an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information please send an email to klzehnder@aol.com
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