In early October my husband and I drove through a severe storm over Raynolds Pass near Henry’s Lake. Not realizing how intense the storm was about to become, we soldiered on, only to find ourselves in a complete whiteout. The wind whipped the snow in every direction causing a sense of vertigo and snow-blindness. It was a helpless and terrifying sensation. We slowed down and searched for markers on the side of the road and strained our eyes to find the lines that would keep us safely in our lane.
And then I did the unthinkable — I fell asleep.
Before you panic, I should clarify that I wasn’t driving! But I also wasn’t a very good passenger. Because I was stressed and dizzy I just turned it over to my husband and closed my eyes. Maybe not the most supportive of coping mechanisms.
Happily, we did eventually drive out of the storm thanks to his attention to the road. A view of those big Montana skies was never so welcome.
In Exodus, we find the children of Israel in the wilderness, wandering, wondering, and in chaos. They have a lot to learn about self-governance, human nature, weakness, and the true source of wisdom. Over many years and many tears they come to know God, and through Him, know themselves, which allows them to better love and care for one another.
One of the most powerful tools the Lord uses to help the children of Israel is two stone tablets, miraculously engraven with some simple rules for life. They begin with “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of … bondage … Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” Exodus 20:2-3. And culminate in several dos and don’ts that promise to create the foundation for a peaceful life and a heaven-like society.
God asks them to honor their parents and the Sabbath. Then warns them to refrain from killing, adultery, theft, lying and coveting. Can you think of any conflict in the world today whose underlying bedrock isn’t one of these? Clearly the Lord understands human nature and has provided guard rails for the sometimes treacherous road of life.
Like the safety markers over Raynolds Pass, the Ten Commandments provide a steady guide toward God and heaven-like living. Note that they do not prevent the storm, rather acknowledge that storms do inevitably descend, and stand ready to lead the way to safety.
We love God as we obey. Loving God makes life easier. The evidence of His love for us is peace, protection, and connection to Him as a natural outgrowth of living within the bounds He has set.
Like my husband, it is best to keep your eyes firmly fixed on those heavenly guideposts. It may be necessary to slow down and search more carefully for guidance. Open the scriptures, pour out your heart in prayer, seek to understand, and commit to act in faith.
Just keep moving forward. And don’t go to sleep.
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