When I was a little girl, we used to sing this song in church;
God will make a way, where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me.
I don’t think I really understood what it meant till I was older, when I discovered that God is the God of ‘the third way’.
Exodus 14, in a nutshell, is a story of freedom and a story of fear. After years of torture, slavery and slaughter, the Jewish people are free from their captors.
Except there’s a problem.
They’d followed God’s guidance and set up camp near the Sea, but the Egyptians are hot on their heels. Sea in front, an army of baddies behind means there is literally no way forward, no way back.
(Ever feel a bit like that? Yes….me too).
The people start to rant a bit at Moses.
“Great Moses…you arrange our freedom and then bring us down here to flippin’ well DIE??? Nice one…”
“Were the graves not good enough for us in Egypt….we now have to shrivel up under the blazing sun and die here….cheers dude….
Moses (no doubt, pretty well accustomed by now to their kvetching) says, “Ok people, settle DOWN! Do NOT (I repeat), do NOT be afraid….I don’t understand it either, but I have a feeling God is going to do something here…”
(Very loosely paraphrased, obviously).
At that point, did Moses know what God was going to do? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure that his experience so far told him that when there’s no way forward and no way back, God was a specialist in ‘the third way’ – a solution no one had yet thought of.
And that’s exactly what happened.
The Sea opened up in front of them. The movies depict this as something which happened quickly, but the Bible account says that it happened overnight….little by little, the Seas were pushed back and a clear pathway through was revealed.
Some times the ‘third way’ is quick, easy and obvious to see.
Sometimes, it takes a whole lot longer. But I still believe that God specialises in solutions we’ve not thought of.
Dividing a Sea? Really? Who’d have dreamed that one up?
Making the sun stand still?
Sending angels into a lions’ den?
Using a young kid with a stone to kill a violent giant?
Sending a baby, to save humankind.
No matter what’s going on, there’s always an emergency exit, a fire escape….a ‘third way’.