Waiting in a long line to ride a roller coaster, I considered turning back several times. When it was finally my turn to board, the safety bar in the seat I was to occupy wouldn’t release properly. I was afraid of getting stuck, but I hopped in anyway. When the safety bar came down too tightly on my lap, I felt trapped and scared! I considered waving my hand and asking to be excused from the ride. But an attendant announced over the loudspeaker, “You can scream and you can shout, but there’s no way we’ll let you out.”

Thankfully, my ride that began with near terror ended in exhilaration!

God’s people had an intense encounter with fear shortly after leaving Egypt. “The [Israelites] looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them” (Exodus 14:10). The Egyptian forces were massive and moving quickly.

This threat caused the Israelites to consider turning back and surrendering to their enemies. They told Moses, “It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!” (Exodus 14:12). Moses might have been scared too, but his faith in God gave him courage. He told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today” (Exodus 14:13). Moses knew that giving in to fear would mean missing out on the blessings of the Promised Land.

Thankfully, the Israelites pressed forward and escaped the Egyptians. The Bible tells us that God used the whole event to display His glory (Exodus 14:4). If you’re facing a scary situation, remember that the great God who delivered the Israelites is with you.

The psalmist wrote, “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you” (Psalm 37:5). May we rest in His power and presence today.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 3:22-36