You Can Move Forward Boldly

As a news reporter, I consulted with my team in a hurried phone conference about our upcoming trip to Cairo. Should we still go, in light of the political unrest? Multitudes were in Tahrir Square protesting. The military unsuccessfully tried to quell the building rage since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. So while I apprehensively voted “yes,” secretly, I was both terrified and excited.

As I headed to my gate, I tried to calm my steadily building nerves the morning of my trip. I prayed and asked God for courage while the news from Egypt got progressively worse.

Then, I heard a chime from my phone. A friend sent me the following text:

“Dear friend, I am praying Isaiah 52:12 for you over the next week. ‘You will not leave in a hurry, running for your lives. For the Lord will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.’

So take heart in this reassurance. With God as your rear guard, there is nothing to fear. Be the hands and feet of Jesus with confidence. Tell their stories.”

God gave her a word of encouragement that was so apt to my circumstances. I even thought about the smoke and fire pillars that led Israel in their exodus out of Egypt. I envisioned the Israelites’ obedience in moving forward, knowing God made the path and watched over them.

Even though Isaiah 52:12 speaks about God delivering the Jews from Babylon, Isaiah’s promise applies to Christ’s salvation to all people. The reassurance of God going before as the advance force and also covering me as a rearguard brought a whole new meaning to the reality that “God’s got my back.”

When someone comes to me asking for advice on an uncertain path or decision, I imagine that the God of the Universe says to them: “For the Lord will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.”

Then, move forward boldly.

*For deeper reflection, listen to Isaiah 52.