Moses and the Shire River

It was a Sunday afternoon. A few classmates of mine had recently made mention of the nearby “Mangochi bridge” that boasted of its tranquil aquatic scenery and boisterous locals that trekked along it. It was unmistakable that our first week at the district hospital left us feeling tattered and worn. Our unquestionable desire for quietude savoured the thought of what we had planned to be a restful Sunday afternoon. It was unanimous. To the bridge we went!

The tepid air wrapped itself around our faces as we treaded out. Trudging along the dusty pavement, the sandy grains fed themselves onto our bare naked feet as the “kabaza’s” (bicycle taxis) dashed by. We rambled for a good ten minutes and soon saw the curving hump that stretched itself across the Shire riverine. Lo and behold, there she was: Mangochi bridge. She did not embody the vivacity of Brooklyn nor did she carry the historical backbone of London. Yet, in her modest frame, she bore the pride of her land. Her people loved her and she loved her people. Young and old, each person gently graced her tar-marked exterior relishing the serene ambiance she emanated. Leaning against the rails, I basked in the still utopia as the frontier of the Shire’s waters gently rippled below me. A cyclist peddled in our direction vending his stack of sugar-cane. As I bit into the stringy sweetness, I poised myself up again and gazed at the surrounding. The gentle tides of the waters below triggered thoughts and contemplations of the exodus that emerged as Moses and his people navigated through the Red Sea. I imagined how convenient it would have been if they simply had a “bridge” or a one-way ticket cruise to the promise land. Their hope and resolve to reach the other side perhaps crumbled calamitously as they eyeballed the mass of water that stood between them and freedom. God had promised liberty to His people. But as they journeyed, their prospects of liberty grew dim in their eyes. Their slave-masters pursued from behind as the Red-sea formed a barricade ahead. Yet, amid the cocktail of hurdles, God demonstrated (again) why He is God. No bridge. No plane. No boat. Just God and His power. The waters split crafting paths were none had been before. The enemies were vanquished as Gods people pressed through untouched and unharmed. Escape.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God…”

A preacher once said “God specializes in the impossible.” Every so often (and sometimes more often than sought) an unwanted roadblock deters our path. Human experience has taught many of us that curve balls are curve balls. We know they exist. We know what they look like at times. Yet, when they appear, we are unprepared. It is not so easy (if easy at all) to ready oneself for life’s adversities. Like an uninvited guest, they knock at our door at an unexpected hour bearing tidings of death, reports of sickness, loss of jobs, and hateful relationships (just to name a few). A vortex of fear and dismay dishevels our hope, faith and lives. I’ll admit. It’s hard. It’s hard to be pressed from every side wondering when our breakthrough will come. Yet this I know: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” I think of Moses and how the Lord faithfully stayed with them through the water. I think of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego who remained unburnt in the furnace as they pledged their allegiance to God. I think of the disciples and how our Lord Jesus silenced the waves and the wind to a perfect calm amidst the tremulous storm. Our inner gales and hurricanes are calmed, not by the forging claims of pseudo-hope nor the erroneous beliefs that “tribulation will never come”, but by this one profound truth: He will never leave us nor forsake us. Life’s hardship has not for a single moment depleted the victory and grace that God has set for all His children. Though hard times may come we lean upon the rock that is Christ knowing that we have One who sympathizes with our frailty who has covenanted, from eternities past, to never set us asunder- for not even death itself can separate us from the love of Christ

We all have an assortment of Red-Seas that lay before us. Some are yet to be crossed whilst others are yet to be forgotten. Yet the overwhelming truth remains to be that we have a Saviour who daily fights for us, causing all things, even calamity itself, to work together for our good. He knows my battles. He knows your battles. He’s had His battle at the cross. The waters will not overwhelm us. The fire will never scorch us. The bad medical report will not detach us from the never ending love of God. Though trials may come we stand, not because of any human will power or resolve but because He makes us to us. So press on child of God. Even the waves obey Him.

PS: That battle at the cross? Yes. He won.

“…In the world you have tribulation, but take courage I have overcome the world.”- Jesus Christ (John 16:33)

At His Feet…

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11 thoughts on “Moses and the Shire River

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  1. That was inspiring, or maybe I feel inspired because I was waiting for God to speak… To tell me it’s ok and it will get better. Thank you for being His mouthpiece

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  2. I absolutely love this! Your writing is as impeccable as your manner is gracious. Thank you so very much for writing this. A part of it reminded me of “A Guide from Beyond”- one of my favourite pieces by Jellaludin Rumi.

    I thoroughly look forward to reading more from you. 🙂

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  3. This a masterpiece Gareth. Your literary prowess is a marvel to your Dad. Yet without compromising the theological and doctrinal precision. I will read this particular one countlessly as it resonates with the season facing me. God is bigger than the Red Sea. Hallelujah, praise the Lord.

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