I feel like human beings can be plotted on the spectrum of planners and non-planners. I am a selective planner; some things I need to know every little minute detail, other times I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants.
When it comes to making decisions, especially big life directions, the kind of decisions you pray long and hard about, I would like to know every detail. I would like to know that every i has been dotted and every t has been crossed. I’m not a big fan of stepping out in faith until I’m sure all of the proper due-diligence has been completed, but “faith” like that isn’t really faith at all.
The Book of Exodus tells us that the Israelites had been enslaved in Egypt for over 400 years until God spoke to Moses, letting him know that he was ready to execute his escape plan. Moses went to Pharaoh and talked to him, saying “let my people go!”. Pharaoh denied him and ended up making things worse for the Israelites. Over the course of a few weeks, Egypt experienced 10 plagues, each one far worse than the one preceding it, but Pharaoh remained stubborn, steadfastly refusing to let the Israelites go.
I wonder what it would’ve been like for the people of Israel during this time. They were working in terrible conditions and some of them didn’t believe Moses would be able to set them free. During the course of the plagues, I wonder if their hearts began to turn toward God. I wonder if they grew excited at the anticipation of leaving only to be disappointed when Pharaoh refused yet again. I wonder if they created “go” bags, just in case today was the day. I wonder what parents told their children about what was going on; I mean, how would you explain to a 5 year old why the river turned to blood?
God gave the people of Israel very specific instructions about the passover: the type of lamb, how it was to be killed, the use of the blood, how to cook the animal, and even how to eat it. He laid out every detail to prepare them for what was about to happen next. At midnight all of the Egyptian first-born males were struck dead, causing a lament throughout Egypt. Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron in the middle of the night and kicked out the Israelites, wanting nothing more to do with their God.
“The people grabbed their bread dough before it had risen, bundled their bread bowls in their cloaks and threw them over their shoulders. The Israelites had already done what Moses had told them; they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold things and clothing. God saw to it that the Egyptians liked the people and so readily gave them what they asked for. Oh yes! They picked those Egyptians clean.
The Israelites moved on from Rameses to Succoth, about 600,000 on foot, besides their dependents. There was also a crowd of riffraff tagging along, not to mention the large flocks and herds of livestock. They baked unraised cakes with the bread dough they had brought out of Egypt; it hadn’t raised—they’d been rushed out of Egypt and hadn’t time to fix food for the journey.”
The Israelites then proceeded to wander around in circles in the desert for 40 years while God fed them and their clothes never wore out. The people of Israel didn’t have time to gather everything they thought they needed for the trip, which set God up to perform some major miracles on their behalf.
There are some things that God is crystal clear about and they can be found in the Bible. Other things aren’t always as clear, but what if that’s not a bad thing? What if ambiguity is a beautiful invitation into an opportunity to trust God more deeply? What if, by not answering all of our questions immediately, God is setting the stage for a miracle to be performed on our behalf?
I believe that if we stepped back and embraced the ambiguity, trusting the character of God, we could see some amazing things happen in our lives.
Learn more about the character of God here.