And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. - Exodus 14:11-12
How often in our lives do we settle for mediocre simply because we're too afraid to take a risk on something better? Here in Exodus, God is leading His people to the land of Canaan, a ripe, fertile land flowing with milk and honey. In this paradise, the people would finally be free from their bondage to the Egyptians. No more slavery. No more mistreatment. No more demeaning labor. Freedom was within reach. A new life, and a much better life was waiting at the end of the path of God's leading. All they had to do was follow. But no, even that was too difficult.
"Didn't we tell you to leave us alone, Moses? We were fine in Egypt. Yes, we were slaves and mistreated, but at least we were alive. You've brought us here to die. It would be much better if we were back in Egypt!"
The ingratitude is overwhelming, but more than that, the shortsightedness is astounding. According to the Israelites, they only had two options: die in the wilderness or be slaves in Egypt. So what happened to God's plan--to journey to Canaan? Why didn't God's plan figure into this equation?
I guess we could ask ourselves the same question, couldn't we? After all, we know that God never intended for us to settle for mediocre lives. He tells us so in John 10:10 when He says,
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Life is good. Abundant life is better. Existing in Egypt is one thing. Living in paradise is quite another. Yet, so often, we sell ourselves short because, like the Israelites, we're unwilling to face the journey.
It's too hard.
The road is too long.
The way is too rough.
Sacrifices will have to be made along the way, and this whole journey will require me to get out of my comfort zone. I don't know if I'm really up to that. I mean, yes, I'm currently a slave to my circumstances or my health or my finances (or fill in the blank), but I'm used to that. I don't like it here, but at least everything is familiar.
The uncertainty of the trip is too overwhelming.
And all the while Canaan is in sight, if only we would take that step of faith and begin the journey. Let's not miss out on the best that God has for us. He has gone through great pains to make this journey possible, and He promises to lead us every step of the way. All we have to do is follow.
Don't look back. Leave Egypt behind, and take that first step on the journey to God's best for your life. My first step may seem different than yours, but that's okay. You know what God wants you to do. Follow His leading, and enjoy the journey of a lifetime! It's time to stop settling for mediocre.