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Torah Portions Reflection | BESHALACH

02.01.18 | Torah Portions | by Steve VanPoolen

Torah Portions Reflection | BESHALACH

At Crossroads we love God's Word. We believe all words of scripture are inspired by God and are committed to knowing and living out the text individually and in community together. This year we are inviting everyone to journey together by reading weekly Torah portions. Not only will we read together, but we invite you to read a weekly Torah Portion blog written by men and women from our community.

Beshalach | When he let go

Exodus 13:17-17:16 | Judges 4:4-5:31 | Matthew 14:22-33

1995 | Denver, CO | College (Calvin) graduation day 2 years behind me | Single

My life at this time was whatever I felt was right, living day to day, week to week - which looked mostly like working, drinking, smoking, sleeping, repeat. The fall of that year, as a result of my car being stolen and a series of other events, I found myself asking some of the darkest questions I can recall.

Shortly after I found myself for the first time in a long time, sitting in a church gathering. Abraham was the Biblical character being talked about that morning and I can’t remember the series or the text, but what I can remember is the idea that God had called Abraham (Abram at that time as I came to know) and promised to lead him. I remember hearing that God would do that for me.

It was a radical thought, that God would lead me, that my life could be what he would design it to be, day to day, week to week. And, despite my apathy, complacency and despair, he found a way to rescue me and led me to some of the most hopeful answers I can recall.

Because of this story in my life, when I consider the reading from our week, I can’t help but see this theme repeated in the grand story we are all a part of.

Exiting Egypt on the way to the promised land, God leads His chosen people on the path He wants them to go for His glory and for their good. And, despite their dismay and disbelief, He provides a path, food, water and everything they need.

Inhabiting the promised land, God provides a leader for His chosen people. And, despite their unwillingness, fear, hesitation and complacency, He delivers them and brings peace to the land.

Waiting and anticipating a reigning king, Jesus calls his disciple out of the boat into the chaos. And, despite his doubt, fear and lack of faith, Jesus catches him and calms the storm.

These stories, our stories, our history, give us these amazing big picture truths, that God is actively a part of our lives, leading us along and, despite our inability to understand, finds a way where there is no way. And, that should be an encouraging thought!

There’s more though, much more! Our readings reveal many things about God and His ways.

He will never leave or forsake us

He has a purpose for the details

His purposes are for us, for His glory and for His fame

He has control over all creation

He enables victory and causes defeat

In Him, fear and trust are connected

He is our strength and defense

He calls us to pay attention and keep His decrees

We often wonder if He’s among us

He calls women into roles of leadership

He calls us to awake and be willing

He shows us how to pray

He comes to us

He says don’t be afraid

He calls us to come to him

He is the Son of God