PASSAGE: "But Moses said to the people, 'Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.' Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it" (Exodus 14:13-16).
COMMENT: I think there are two important metaphysical lessons crammed into this brief, decisive moment in the history of the Hebrew people. The first comes from Moses, the second from the Lord.
"Stand firm ... the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again." Whatever the “Egyptians” may represent in our own consciousness—fears, resentments, thoughts of lack and limitation—we could well spend our whole lives running from them, trying to escape them, constantly looking over our shoulders to see it they're gaining on us. We will be constantly exhausted, and totally unable to pause long enough to appreciate the blessings that would be available if we just stopped running. But we don't have to do that. If we choose instead not to run, to stand our ground, then the Lord of our being—the Christ Presence that is our true identity—can dissolve those thoughts—those Egyptians—so that we can move forward free of their negative energy.
But simply standing firm isn't enough, as the Lord immediately reminds Moses. It's brave to stand and trust that God will save the day. But, as Unity minister Eric Butterworth wrote, God can only do for us what God can do through us. So here, once Moses has assured the people that God will provide, the Lord—his own inner guidance, his connectedness to Divine Mind—says, "Why do you cry out to me? ... Lift up your staff!" We always have the means at hand to solve any challenge; the Power of God is not withholding anything from us. The Power of God will part the Red Sea, but Moses has to 'lift up his staff' to allow it to happen.
The same is true for us. When facing a challenge, our first thought should be “the Power of God in me can easily dissolve this challenge.” And our second thought should be, How can I lift my staff to allow God to work through me?