Lessons From the Red Sea

  • March 15, 2012
  • #7794

Joni shares the encouragement her friend Dan drew from the Red Sea in his battle against cancer.

Hi friends, this is Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to Joni and Friends. My friend, Dan, was diagnosed with cancer not long ago. The future looks a little fearful for him and his wife, Jenny, but they have drawn tremendous encouragement from – you’re not going to believe this – they’ve drawn encouragement from the Bible story of the Red Sea. Now what, you may ask, could possibly be the connection between the parting of the Red Sea and the prognosis of a terminal illness? Well, plenty, according to Dan. It all started when he read a little book called Red Sea Rules: Ten Strategies for People Facing Difficult Times. 

For instance, there was that horrible moment when he got the news about his illness. He felt stuck, he felt trapped with no way out facing a dead-end diagnosis of cancer. He said to me, “Joni, I know the Israelites must have felt the same way when they were trapped up against the Red Sea, stopped right up against the shoreline.” So Dan told me that Red Sea rule #1 is: realize that God means for you to be exactly where you are. Now, friend, think about that. Dan has cancer, I have quadriplegia. At times we both fight those claustrophobic trapped feelings, but we know that God has us exactly where we are and His grace will deliver us from every fear and worry about the future. No Christian is ever stuck without a way out. First Corinthians 10:13 says that God will provide a way out so you can stand up under the test. 

Dan told me another lesson. Now remember, he’s dealing with cancer, right? Dan said, “Joni, it has helped my wife and me to remember that God led the Israelites directly to that camping site by the Red Sea. Maybe at first the Israelites thought it was a beautiful spot to put up their tents, what with all that beautiful ocean stretching out to the horizon, but they were soon to realize, it was a trap. Pharaoh and his army were hot-on-their-trail and that army pressed up against the waves with nowhere to turn. But God led them to that spot. And God, has led me into this battle with cancer. And if God has led, it is to show me – just like he showed the Israelites – His glory, His protection, and His provision. God did not lead them to the Red Sea to destroy them. And God has not led me this far to destroy me. Nothing can hurt or harm my soul, not even death. No matter where this adventure leads, He has given us a joy in the journey.”

Those are pretty powerful words from my friend, Dan, aren’t they? And they are words I share with you today to encourage you. A believer in Jesus, just like you, never needs to feel trapped with no way out. God never leads us into dead-ends that go nowhere. You should never feel stuck. When God leads, He promises to take you to that place, that beautiful place, where you will experience as never before His glory, His protection, and His provision. You could ask the Israelites of old, but it might be easier just to ask Dan.

Friend, thanks so much for these special few minutes we’ve been able to share together. And because this program is called Joni and Friends, please know that I would love to hear from you. So, drop me a line on Joni’s Corner at joniandfriends.org. Until next time, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and you’re listening to Joni and Friends. 

Previously aired as program #6752 on 3/18/08

© Joni and Friends

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