The Norman Transcript

September 20, 2013

Why are you crying out to me?

By Bruce Kessler
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Along the dark, tea-colored creek called Log Landing in Effingham County, an outlet of the Savannah River, people gathered on the weekends to enjoy the white sand, moss-covered oak trees, the soft stirring of the gentle Georgia Coast breeze and the ice cold water.

Back then, I was completely and totally unaware of the priceless history that whispered ever so softly down those dusty roads. If you stand still and listen, you will hear the rustles of history move among the trees. Time and history are trying to get our attention.

Lessons can be learned, if we are willing.

Yet, this day was indeed magical and even more special because my dad and I were spending time together. Oh, how I loved my dad. I would have objected to this little adventure had I known my dad’s real intention.

We gathered all the necessary items for our swimming outing and packed our lunch (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with chips). Soon, we were barreling down GA 21 and arriving at Log Landing. I couldn’t wait.

We found us a nice corner spot near the creek and set our little picnic spread. I noticed several of the older boys perched high above in a massive cyprus tree about to use the rope to swing out or they were about to high dive in the deepest section of Log Landing. I was too young for this at the time, but what fun they were having. The height frightened me, but the excitement was captivating.

Dad and I were in the shallow section playing around, then he grabbed me and said, “Let’s try something.”

The next thing I know, we were wading out to the deeper part of the creek. Daddy still held me firm, yet the water appeared darker, more menacing than ever. Suddenly, I was afraid. About that time he let me go. This was unexpected.

I dropped straight to the bottom of that sandy creek like an anchor. I was flailing and clawing, grasping for anything that would bring me to safety. Then, Dad casually reached down and pulled me to safety. I even struggled against his help. When I came up, Dad was smiling.

After spitting up water and coughing, I said, “Dad, dad, I almost drowned.”

He replied dryly, “Stop crying; I am right here beside you. I won’t let you drown. By the way, this is your first swimming lesson.”

I thought about that day when I read the verse from Exodus 14:15: “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me?’ Tell the Israelites to move on.”

Remember that the Israelites had just witnessed some amazing miracles by God to free them from Egyptian slavery. Now they were backed up to the Red Sea with apparently no way to escape the impending doom headed straight for them. They were terrified and afraid and cried out to God. Moses then turned to God.

The statement by God in verse 15 appears to mock their cries and Moses’ plea, but this was in no way the intent. “Why are you crying out to me” underscores the core problem all of us have with God: trust. Surely, God has brought us out here to die. He has abandoned us. God has left us to die alone.

God’s response tells us everything about His desire for a relationship that is built on total trust and commitment.

God basically says, “Don’t question my loyalty to you, don’t doubt that I would have saved you, don’t let fear rob you of the truth that I am always by your side and seeking your best.” More times than we are willing to admit, we struggle with trusting God.

We cry out more than we trust His sovereignty and purpose.

Today, like the Israelites, we need to move on. Move on toward trusting God, move on to enjoy a level of relationship that you never have experienced and move on toward the Promised Land.