During the school holidays, we drove out to the seaside town of Scarborough on the northeast coast of England. As we walked along the beach, we were fascinated by the sight of all the boats stranded in the harbor. The tide was out and the boats stood upright in the sand. Anyone wanting to navigate one of them would have to wait for the powerful, surging waters of the tide to come in again.

The Israelites were deeply relieved to see the waters of the Red Sea recede by God’s power, enabling them to step onto dry land and cross safely to the other side (Exodus 14:22). As they faced the raging waters, they looked back and saw the Egyptian army in pursuit. Pharaoh had obviously changed his mind about allowing his massive workforce to leave (Exodus 14:5-9).

Fearing they’d be slaughtered, they cried, “Why did you bring us out here to die? . . . It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!” But Moses encouraged them, saying: ‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. . . . The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm’ (Exodus 14:11-14). As Moses raised his hand over the sea, God opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind, turning the seabed into dry land. “So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!” (Exodus 14:22).

The Israelites chose to trust in God and His power. It was their only hope. Today you might be feeling like a ship stuck in the sand or you could be happily sailing through life. Wherever you are, take to heart that God is with you and you can call out to Him anytime. His power and presence will help you navigate life’s ever-changing waters.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Matthew 2:1-12