Stepping Out in Faith
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” —Exodus 13:17
This week, Jews around the world will celebrate the most important event in Jewish history — the Exodus and redemption of the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt. These devotions were prepared for you in advance to help you discover the many lessons in faith Passover has for you.
When my husband and I moved to Israel, we believed with all of our hearts that Israel is where we are meant to be. We fully appreciated the blessing of a Jewish homeland after nearly 2,000 years of oppression in the Diaspora and we felt God tugging at our heartstrings, telling us that Israel is our true home.
Yet, in spite of all these reassuring thoughts, it was hard to say goodbye to everything and everyone we had always known and step into the unknown. It took a huge leap of faith and a whole lot of courage to board a plane on a one-way ticket to Israel for a life we could never have imagined.
Choosing change over comfort, and the unfamiliar over what is known, has never been easy. When the Israelites left Egypt in the Exodus story, we read: “When Pharaoh let the people go…” However, when we translate this verse literally from the original Hebrew, we read: “When Pharaoh sent the people away…” The Jewish sages explained that when it finally came time for the Israelites to leave Egypt, they were hesitant to go. Pharaoh had to push them out the door! They needed an extra nudge because in spite of the bitter slavery in Egypt, the people were afraid to step into unfamiliar territory.
As human beings, it’s natural for us to fear the unknown, just as the ancient Israelites did. So we stay in jobs that we don’t like, relationships that hurt us, or in places that no longer suit us. But do you know what is even worse than the unknown? It’s staying with something that we know is bad for us!
Passover is a time for stepping out in faith. It’s a time for leaving old habits and situations behind in order to make way for something new and better. It’s a time for change even if it makes us uncomfortable. When we follow God, we may not know where we are going, but we can be sure that we will end up exactly where we are meant to be.
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