Behind each of my tattoos there is a story deep with meaning. As I have been getting my most recent sessions of ink, several of you have asked why I was getting this one. That may have been partly due to the fact that until a week ago, it kind of looked like urban camouflage on the inside of my arm. Now that we are close to finishing this piece, it is easy to see Moses parting the Red Sea (or at least I hope it is). Having said that, I thought my blog was a great place to share the stories and significance behind each of my tattoos.
About half way through the book, the discussion turned to Moses. From there, I replayed in my mind how his life had played out, specifically after he finally stopped resisting and handed the reigns over to God. In case you aren't familiar, I will catch you up with his story. Moses, a Hebrew, was adopted into Pharaoh's household. During his years in the palace, Moses' people were living in the bondage of slavery to Egypt. Eventually, seeing one of the Egyptians beating a Hebrew, Moses killed the slave-driver and buried the evidence. Lo and behold, this incident came to light and Moses went on the run. Now we jump ahead in the story and find that Moses had been living a pretty normal life until he encountered God and received a call to head back to Egypt and rescue his people. After some wrestling with God, Moses agreed to confront Pharaoh. Through some persuasion and a few miracles (you might call them plagues), Pharaoh let the people go and the Hebrews took off toward the east with Moses. Eventually they come face to face with the Red Sea (I should tell you at this time Pharaoh regretted his decision to let the Hebrews go and his army was in pursuit). Here Moses and his crew find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Moses knew what God had called him to. He knew the promises that were made. But first, they had to overcome this obstacle.
And it is here, we pick up and I put myself in Moses' shoes--the past in hot pursuit, looming over everything and a giant obstacle in the way of the life that has been promised. Over the past few years of rebuilding my life God had given me some big dreams and made some outstanding promises. Occasionally, I even saw glimpses of the future He had in store for me. But that's all they were, glimpses. There came a time (right when I was given the book Plan B) I kind of felt like God was just teasing me. It was as though He was dangling the proverbial carrot right in front of me, always just out of reach. I felt I was ready for what He had in store and wanted to see things start moving. While opportunities were presenting themselves, the progress was still too slow for me. It was then I began thinking about Moses. Thoughts flooded my mind about how he must have felt and what must have been going through his mind standing there at the Red Sea. God had proved himself faithful already (just as He has for me, time and time again), yet, here he was face to face with this insurmountable obstacle. Even though God had been faithful up to this point, I can't help but think Moses still had some lingering doubts. Will you really going to come through God? Are you sure you know what you're doing God? This all had better not be a cosmic joke or I'm going to be furious! There, in the midst of the anxiousness and fear Moses takes a few steps into the Red Sea (there's a lot of significance there), raises his staff and waits for God to do what it is He plans on doing.
That's exactly where my life is at right now. Things seem to be at a stand still. My past can still overtake me if I give up on God and allow it to. I can wait here at this crossroad and allow my mind to be flooded with numerous questions of why, how and when. Or I, like Moses, can take a few steps into the Red Sea, raise my staff (maybe I should get myself one of those to walk around with) and see how God comes through--yet again! I know the dreams and vision I have of restoration and renewal are much bigger than I can accomplish on my own. And I am no longer willing to stand on the shore, letting my mind become flooded with questions to which I may never have answers. So, like Moses, I am wading into the Red Sea, a giant ball of fear and anxiousness, to see what God comes up with this time. And when I cross, on dry land, hopefully I don't have to spend the next 40 years wandering like Moses and his crew.