When God Makes a Promise...

By Asst. Pastor Micah McCurry

And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
— Exodus 14:10

Imagine you are a man or a woman, young or old, that has been walking all night and all day on your way out of Egypt.  Imagine that you can smell the salt air from the Red Sea beside which you and over a million of your family and friends have just set up camp.  Imagine the freezing terror that you feel as you hear the quickly confirmed report that an army of Egyptians has appeared on the horizon. You remember the feel of the lash on your back. You look down at bruised and callused hands that have done a lifetime of brick making. You feel the tight grip of despair squeeze the breath right out of you.

And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
— Exodus 14:19

Now imagine that your view of the fast approaching Egyptians starts to get misty, then hazy, then totally cloudy.  A mysteriously comforting wall of cloud appears between you and your previous masters.  As the wind begins to stir and the Red Sea begins to part you realize something:

God had made you a promise. Technically, this promise was for the entirety of the children of Israel, but you felt like today it was your promise. A promise that you would never be under the heel of those slave masters again. A promise that you would be a free man/woman/boy/girl. As the Red Sea opened up into the world's largest highway cum aquarium you realize that:

When God Makes a Promise He Always Makes a Road

Following God is not a 12 step program. It is not as neat and as tidy as following your GPS. You will not always get an instant response like you will with Siri. Sometimes the road provided is shadowed and winding. You may not be able to see into the distant future, but just know, if you are in God's will, the road has been provided by Him.

We have to understand that God only ever promises the destination. A land flowing with milk and honey was promised to the children of Israel. God did not mention a last minute rescue via the Red Sea splitting into two. He did not tell His children about their shoes never needing replaced. Often, we beg and plead God for the whole plan to be laid out in front of us, but what He wants us to do is just take the next step. And then another, and then another. 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
— Jeremiah 29:11

So what destination have we been promised? We have been given a rock solid guarantee of Heaven. What a great and marvelous future to look forward to! Streets of gold, a mansion for each of us, a crystal river, it will be amazing! We are willing to trust God to take us to live with Him forever when we die, but we cannot seem to trust Him for the here and now.

In your mind's eye imagine your life on a blank map. Put a pin down where you are right now and mark that point with your name. Now, somewhere on that map, a long way off, put another pin down. Mark that pin with the word, Heaven. Fill in the entire rest of the map with fog. In between where you are and where Heaven is, put nothing except for blinding fog. Just grey, heavy fog that nothing and no one can see through. Now imagine you are standing right beside the pin with your name. You can just barely make out the edges of what appears to be a road that you are standing on. You can see just enough that you might be able to take one step.

Here is what you must understand: betwixt you and your goal of Heaven there is a road. You cannot see but a few feet of it. You cannot blow the fog away and make it easier to find. All you can do is take one step today. And then take one step tomorrow. And do the same thing every day until one day God says, "Hey, I've been waiting on you, come on Home". And you wake up in Glory.

We shed tears. We bang our heads on the wall. We fall into depression. We tear ourselves apart. We make our families scared. We weep for answers. Sound familiar? Want an answer for your desperate cries? Take one step today.

God made you a promise. He said I go to prepare a place for you. But he does not want you to join Him today. Maybe it will be tomorrow. Maybe next month. Maybe in one, five, or many years. But until He says, "Come on Home", just take one step today.

The destination is promised. The goal is known. The endgame is certain. You just need to take a step in the right direction. Life is a marathon taken one baby step at a time. When God Makes a Promise, He Always Makes a Road.