ODJ: joy in the journey

February 26, 2014 

READ: Exodus 3:7-17 

Go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt (v.10).

The announcement of a family road trip is the quickest way to get our eager 6 year old twins packed and in the car. As we drive down our road, around the corner and onto the motorway, however, the standard travel refrain is soon heard from the little voices in the backseat: “Are we there yet?” It’s a question that’s often repeated and, although as parents we might tire of it, the children never contemplate giving up on the journey and heading home. They might get impatient, but they want to press on to reach the destination.

The book of Exodus charts another road trip, this time on foot and through the desert. It’s the story of the Israelites’ journey out of Egypt (3:10), the land of their oppressors and into Canaan—the Promised Land. The Israelites were hopeful, but it didn’t take long for them to begin grumbling and asking when they were going to get to Canaan. Many even longed for a return to Egypt (16:1-3).

In Mark 4:35-41 we read of Jesus telling His disciples that they were going for a journey to the other side of the lake (v.35). They set sail and Jesus soon fell asleep in the back of the boat. Suddenly, a great storm surrounded them. The disciples woke Jesus up in a panic, terrified that they were about to drown (vv.36-38). Jesus spoke and calmed the storm. Then He rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith (vv.39-40).

When you become weary in a desert period of life and begin to doubt God, or the storms of life begin distracting you from what He called you to do, focus on His promises and trust that He’s with you. He said that He will never “fail you” or “abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5). That’s great news for the journey!

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

Read Exodus 23:20-33. Note what God provides for the Israelites’ journey and what He commands them to do. 
What promises are you waiting for God to fulfil in your life or in the lives of those you love? What do you need to do to press on by faith today?