When I read the Bible, I often feel inspired to leap over the highest mountains. The story of David defeating Goliath, Moses parting the Red Sea, Jesus defying the tomb with the resurrection, fill my heart with courage to face any enemy head on.
But then I find myself shaken by news flashes of tragedy, as I did with the news of the Boston Marathon bombing. For a few seconds the scenes seem surreal, like something out of a make-believe movie. And then, like a ton of bricks, I was confronted with the daunting reality that tragedy can strike me, my children, my loved ones any day, any time, and destroy my world.
Years ago, I wanted to build my life on a foundation where I could never be shaken. I found a new identity in the title "daughter of the King" and settled in a secure place of belonging in God's family tree. But more than just a feel-good title, I longed to put teeth to the concept of being the King's daughter and respond to life accordingly. In every family, there is an expected code of behavior. And so it is with God's family. As his daughter, I am to learn the royal family's code of behavior. I do this by following Scripture that speaks directly to my situation or looking at Bible characters not just as characters, but as my faith siblings. I am to look for parallel situations they went through and learn from their right choices. Every time I respond to life according to Scripture or the right choices of my faith siblings, I assert my identity as the King's daughter in following the royal family's code of behavior.
With regard to the Boston bombing tragedy, what faith sibling in the Bible can I learn from to get through the wrong decisions others make that impact my life? My attention was drawn to my faith brother Moses.
Moses was in such a predicament when he set out to take the children of Israel out of Egypt, only to find the Egyptian army descending upon him. I wanted to learn from Moses' response to a decision Pharaoh made that was out of Moses' control. Moses could not control Pharaoh and keep him from changing his mind and coming after God's people.
Exodus 14:15-16 reads, "Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground'" (NIV).
What's interesting to me in these verses was how God showed Moses the solution was something Moses already possessed. God told him to stretch over the sea the staff that was in his hands. Common sense tells me there was nothing magical about stretching a staff over a sea. The power was not in the staff. The only reason the staff had power was because God gave it power.