I Feel So Hemmed In

A distant roar was heard echoing through the sharp zig-zag valleys and canyons. It resembled an approaching fear and trembling, getting louder and louder……..

Was it a known crucial deadline for a project completion that was falling behind schedule?

Was it a surgery date looming like a long shadow across the calendar?

Was it an inevitable decision that HAD to be made that been put off and put off, and now it was crisis time?

Was it the imminent failing health of a loved one, with uncertainty and anxiety twisting the peace from us?

Why do we sometimes feel hemmed in? Why do we feel the pressures around us as we make every effort NOT to be in that position? Why do these things happen? Why do even our best efforts fail to minimize stress and hand-wringing? Is it that we lack faith? Is it that our reaching for a Holy God seems to be just passed our fingertips? Why is it that even the most sincere efforts seem to come unraveled?

The ancient Hebrews felt the same way as they escaped Pharaoh and the entire Egyptian military. The hundreds of horse-drawn chariots were rumbling through the valleys of the Sinai Peninsula to capture the Hebrews and return them to Egypt as slaves. The Hebrews cried out relying on their visual and auditory senses. They were hemmed in an inescapable situation. The Red Sea ahead of them and a ruthless leader hunting them down.

They cried out! They wept! They demanded answers from Moses! Moses went to God, and God expressed frustration because of their lack of faith. The people were supposed to have trust in God, not criticize Him! God knew the future of this whole thing, because He had already told Moses! Exodus 14:16-18.

Panic #1 – No way out. When Moses came back (with the Hebrews demanding what Moses was going to do), they saw Moses staff raised up across the Red Sea. The strong east wind began to blow, and the waters divided! Did they expect that? No. They expected something tangible, not something supernatural. Yet, not until they got over the real anticipation of drowning by looking at two walls of water that hemmed them in again, did they understand.

Panic #2 – No way to win. After all 2 million plus people crossed on the river bottom of the Red Sea, did fear return. They all got across, when they saw that the Egyptians were right behind them, right between the SAME walls of water. Now the Egyptians were hemmed in! But the people feared that God was going to let them through, too! Why did they think that? They AGAIN looked at it from a tangible, perceptible point of view, not a supernatural one! Of course, the story ends with the Lord forcing the wheels off the chariots, and collapsing the walls of water, drowning them all. Chariot wheels have actually been discovered off the coast of the town of Nuweiba deep on the seabed.

So, when the walls of the canyons are echoing with dreadful, menacing voices of indecision and intimidation; remember who wrote the future. When the winds of disruption are often mistaken for the winds of change, remember who blew a strong east wind so over two million people would survive. He is able to do the same for you! Are you anxious about a big meeting ahead? Are you worried about a merger, or a dissolution in your company? Are you wondering how to make payroll when sales and cash flow have been interrupted? Well, the Lord ALREADY knew this! He knows the human reaction will use OUR faculties first. Then along the way, we will pray.

Here’s the major question: If God already knows the future, and we are following Him along this winding road of life; then why haven’t we learned to get to the prayer stuff FIRST? God wants us to show OUR character by revealing HIS character through us. When things go sideways in life, the echoes of enemy feelings begin to go silent. When we have troubles on every side, we feel hemmed in without solutions. But the Lord is faithful to provide the EXACT measure we need for His directions to be fulfilled.

I once heard a guy who was in deep, deep trouble. He sought to physically address the situation by his own abilities and failed. A voice quietly then said, “Why don’t you get on your knees and fight like a man?”

Turning all things over to God isn’t easy, it isn’t natural. But as believers, we can’t be troubled by the false strength of canyon echoes. We can’t be deceived by the hidden voices claiming we will fail. We can’t be led astray by someone pointing in a different direction from the God-sized solution through the parting through supernatural means.

“Lord, we know we often “see” things differently than You do. You “see” everything around us. You see the future. You see the victories ahead. You also see the collapse of our enemies who are right behind us seeking us harm. Let’s pray to “see” the solutions You have for us! Thank You, Lord!!! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”

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