Sacred Holidays: A Devotional Leading Up To Summer

Devotional

DAY ONE: 


Who doesn’t love a good road trip? There is just something really unique about hopping in your car and hitting the open road. Even if you have your adventure planned, you can still encounter surprises—anything can happen! And that’s the mindset I want us to start this road trip with—whether it’s summer, spring break, or another time of year—let’s begin this journey open to anything happening. Deal? 


Over the next few days we have together in this devotional, we are going to do our very best to join the travelers we encounter on the different roads that they venture down. Fight hard to give these stories your full attention because these stories aren’t virtual reality—they really happened! Each story is written for us to learn from, so let’s get lost on these roads!


I want to start our road trip going down one of my favorite roads. It’s not a road I’ve been down before, but it feels awfully familiar. Maybe it will for you as well. Have you ever wanted so desperately for things to change, and they didn’t? Perhaps you waited for what seemed like forever and nothing changed. Maybe you would plead and pray and fight, only to repeat this cycle over again and again. Then finally, perhaps miracle of miracles happened and the very thing you had always hoped for happened! Things seemed too good to be true… and then maybe you realized it was too good to be true. Maybe the result of the whole situation was not how you thought things would turn out. 


Read Exodus 13:17-18 and note what happened for the Israelites. 


I’m not sure what you had imagined before, but my story doesn’t compare to 400 years of slavery. The Lord finally freed the Israelites! Except the freedom was probably not like they imagined. Instead of taking the shorter road, God lead them right through the wilderness, towards the Red Sea. 


This didn’t make any sense. Sometimes God’s ways aren’t at all what we expect. His road trips often skip the shortcuts and take their own detours. But you aren’t alone on your journey. 


Read Exodus 13:21-22 and note God’s presence. 


Just like us, the Israelites found themselves on unexpected paths, but they weren’t alone. During the day, the Lord’s leadership was evident in the form of cloud leading them along the way. And at night, He didn’t leave them in the dark; He was a fire for them. He made it so they could keep moving, day or night. He lit their way. God never left His people. 


If you find yourself on unexpected paths, search for His light. He will not leave you. 


If the Israelites had turned around that day out of fear or forced their own agenda,  they would’ve missed where the Father was leading them—the Red Sea. It all probably seemed like a dead end to them, but it wasn’t.


Have you ever felt like God lead you to a dead end? Perhaps you were trying hard to walk in faith and be brave. Maybe you pursued something wild—even for the Lord!—and the result was, well, nothing at all. A total dead end. 


Sometimes we turn around too soon. The Israelites begged to go back to Egypt. Yes, begged to go back to slavery. But God protected them and said to watch what He was about to do. And boy did He do something wild!


Their road trip wasn’t a dead end—It was a way to a miracle. 


Read Exodus 14:21-31. 


Can you even imagine? They were standing before the Red Sea. Their enemy was coming after them and they were stuck. But God. Moses raised up his arms and the dead end opened up the very path to freedom! For those of us who have heard this story again and again, this story has unfortunately lost its luster. So hear it again with fresh ears: The Lord took a dead end and made a way by parting an entire sea in half for His people to walk from slavery to freedom!


Wrap up today ask God to do the same in your life—ask him to make a way in the places you consider a dead end.


 


Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made a road in the depths of the sea so that the redeemed might cross over?


—Isaiah 51:10