Exodus 15:23

And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.

No one would want to engage in an activity or endeavor that is too easy posing no challenge or too difficult without any positives. Golf is such a game. It gives enough positives in the midst of its valleys to keep us interested enough to return. Many times walking down the 18th fairway, I ponder the positives aspects of tennis or softball. It is then, an approach lands within inches of the hole and all of the bad is forgotten.

Our life is full of peaks and valleys. At times, we feel “all is well”, then others when nothing seems to go our way. It is said that we are either exiting a time in a valley or should be preparing to go through one. God uses these “valley experiences” as times to learn dependence upon His provisions.

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak has the world on edge by fearing the worst. I can’t imagine the inner fears of our children as they see the world “shut down” for an indefinite period of time. We have never experienced a time when the NBA goes on hiatus or a fanless March Madness tournament. This fear is contagious.

The Israelites experienced these same fears and wonders what God was doing. They had been released from Pharaoh’s slavery in Egypt, yet began to yearn for the conditions when they found themselves in a new strife for food and water. When they arrived at Marah, the waters were bitter. They murmured against Moses and questioned the plan. Moses, in response, cried unto the Lord who promised that, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”

When we are the most tried and our fears overwhelm our conscience, we have to draw closer to the Word of God and strive for a closer relationship through obedience. When the situation seemed the most dire, God showed Moses “a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them.” Exodus 15:25.

In his book “Be Delivered”, Warren Wiersbe explained that, “if life were nothing but tests, we would be discouraged. If life were all pleasure, we would never learn discipline and develop character.” He noted that, “the emphasis is on trusting God and obeying Him, knowing that the will of God will never lead us where the grace of God can’t keep us.” His grace, mercy and strength are sufficient. We realize He is in control. Things are never as bad or as good as they seem. Let us continually pray for those who have not received these promises of His comfort. In Isaiah 41:10, we are told to, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

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