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Bitter Waters
by Captain Sam Nolan Jones

I’ve had a few hard months. Days I didn’t feel like I could take a full breath. Many...if I’m honest. I’ve been sick to my stomach about hard decisions I’ve had to make as a leader - and cried. Frustrated about situations out of my control. Sad and disappointed by people. Many of these feelings puts me in fight mode - my natural protective mechanism I’m not normally aggressive. So I’ve also been fighting with myself to live surrendered - to live patience and grace - to live out trust in God - to guard my words. And all of this has left me pretty tired overall.


Tonight after a long day, I read over my scripture study for my sermon Sunday - Exodus 14; God is delivering His people out of slavery in Egypt. The people see great power shown. Exodus 15 begins with a song of praise. Then Moses leads the people away from The Red Sea for three days and can’t find water and when they finally do find water - it’s bitter. And obviously the people complain. So, Moses cries out to the Lord.


Scripture says that God told Moses to throw a tree into the waters and it made it sweet and it says there He made them a statute and regulation, and tested them.


Sounds ominous.


Exodus 15:26 - And He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and listen to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.”


I’m so grateful for a God who comes alongside us in our grumbling, at the bitter waters where we have such a need for a drink but no good options - maybe seems like none - and He touches the waters to make them good, not just clear but sweet - and invites me into relationship (as He always does) into following Him and then proclaims to be the “Lord my Healer.”


There’s so much hurt in our world. Many open wounds. If you’re sitting beside bitter waters - I pray that you would call out to God and that He would give you sweet water to drink in whatever way you need that and remind you that He is the Lord your healer.


He is a mighty God who cares for us.  He isn’t laughing at us beside the bitter waters or scolding us for needing a drink or for complaining we’ve got no good thing to drink.


He’s ready to meet our need, to call us to follow, to remind us that He is the Lord our healer and we don’t have to fear His might nor struggle without Him.


Heal us great Healer - use the bitter travel stop in our own lives for deeper trust in You and deeper work of healing and growth in us. Amen.









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