I cannot stop listening to Ellie Holcomb‘s album, Red Sea Road. For almost two weeks now I have been playing it on repeat and having a good ol’ fashioned worship with it. Particularly I have been dwelling on the title track itself (Ellie shares more about it’s origination here). These very words are the prayer of my heart these days when it seems like everything wants to break the hope I have, even my own mind:
We will sing to our souls
We won’t bury our hope
Where He leads us to go, there’s a Red Sea Road
When we can’t see the way, He will part the waves
And we’ll never walk alone down a Red Sea Road
I am not facing a death, a health battle, a family falling apart…but there’s been a season of hope dying in many ways in my life. I hadn’t been able to put my finger on it until recently when the dry bone season changed me to thirst more and more for Christ. When I had exhausted all of my means and went back to the God Who just asks me to be still. In retrospect I had decided to bury hope for some dreams I had carried, that I thought were God-given but felt were all but lost.
Prayers had gone unanswered, unaddressed, or they had simply been told no. I wanted to pack it all away and go on living with buried dreams, a hope left by the wayside. I didn’t want to see God as faithful and with me. In fact I was so dry that I just didn’t feign to look at all towards His direction.
I could write more on justifying how God used this song to convince those who may not believe He can do that, but I won’t. What I will do is say that I trudged through the dryness to a night in January where I was trying to give every excuse not to be at women’s worship night that I could. But a new friend from this last year was going with baby in tow, so I thought I’d better go if for nothing else than to be where I said I would. Then Ellie comes out to lead part of worship with Christy Nockels, and they sing this song they co-wrote. Y’all, I couldn’t…God was slowly reaching down to give me water with it. Then Ellie sings Red Sea Road. It was God’s heart cry to my hope, a Hope that is everlasting and unfading. One that I had attempted to bury was now calling me to sing, to unpack it and allow it to stand in the face of fears, doubts, lies and brokenness.
It reminded me of the very story Ellie wrote her song from, of the Israelites facing opposition chasing them and a wall of water before them. What could have easily been a dead-end for them, their hope and even their lives. He provided the way then, and He does so now. It may not be conventional, but the God who made a road out of the dry land of the Red Sea will be with us on our road we walk.
Is it easy? Absolutely not.
Are there days when I want to bury that hope? Yes.
But the last two weeks I have seen that hope that is Christ-driven, God-ordained and Spirit-led is Hope that cannot be buried. It can only be grasped fully in the obedient walk with God, knowing we only need to be still, He goes before us.