The Scripture reading for today’s Office of Readings comes from Exodus 17. It begins: “From the desert of Sin the whole Israelite community journeyed by stages, as the Lord directed, and encamped at Rephidim. But there was no water for the people to drink.” I’m always intrigued by the desert being called Sin. . .but what really struck me today was the fact that the Lord “directed” them to a place where there was no water to drink. If I was in their shoes, I would be asking Moses to get his GPS out and figure out really where we should be. And that is, in reality, what the Israelites do: they complain to Moses and grumble about where they are. How many of us do the same thing–we hit a speed bump or an even more serious obstacle and question whether the Lord is indeed directing us? This can’t be where He wants me to be.
The Lord directed them to this place of no water for His own purposes. He knew what He was doing. Perhaps it was merely to come face to face with their sin of grumbling and discontent, to recognize it and repent of it by humbling themselves before the Providence of God. God does not make mistakes in where He directs us. Look for Him in whatever unlikely or difficult place you may find yourselves today. He is surely there.