“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night
the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry
land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground,
with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” Exodus 14: 21&22 (NIV)
There is an old expression that is commonly used by pessimists. It is this:
"the calm before the storm." It is true that calm weather often
precedes stormy weather. But it is not true that every time the weather becomes
calm that stormy weather automatically follows. Sometimes calm weather is
actually followed by even calmer and more pleasant weather. I try to avoid
people who cannot enjoy the sunshine because they are so anxious about the rain
that they believe is certainly not too far away. Just enjoy the calm while it
is calm and worry about the storm when it comes.
Moses and his people had a completely different experience. Instead of a
calm that preceded a storm, they actually had a storm that preceded a calm. It
may have been this kind of occurrence that caused someone else to coin the
phrase that "things often get worse before they get better." As
undesirable as this may seem, it is worthy of some consideration.
Moses and the people had been delivered from the slavery of Egypt but the king changed his mind and came after them to take them back. They were now
cornered during their journey: mountains beside them, hostile troops behind
them and the Red Sea in front of them. What a jam. Of course, God miraculously
delivered them by making a dry path through the water in front of them. But to
do it, he sent an east wind that blew all night. I imagine someone must have
felt like that cold, boisterous wind was the last straw and that it could not
get any worse. That wind that may have felt unbearable was actually the wind
that made their victory possible. It was their storm before their calm.
You may be in the throes of your east wind and it may be blowing all night long.
But sometimes God allows the storm to get worse before the calm settles in.
Thank God even for the east wind.
"God, I am not afraid of the east wind. Give me the strength to make it
through the night. Amen."