Your fear of what could happen becomes your new reality.
The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:13)
How do I prepare for a separation that will take my beloved thousands of miles and countless imaginable dangers away? I can check off lists until the red ink in my pen is finished and still not be prepared in the way that counts. How do I prepare my soul for such a departure? There is no formula to make the gut-wrenching farewell easy. There are no pat answers to alleviate fears of the unknown.
Oh, that the angel of the Lord could put blood on my doorpost to be sure death would pass by our home. There would be no fearful anticipation of a knock on the door and the words, “We regret to inform you …”
When it comes to deployment, the elephant in the room is the anticipatory grief that takes up residence in your soul. Your fear of what could happen becomes your new reality.
Actual blood on my doorframe has no power to deter death today, just as it had no actual power to deter death for the Israelites. For them, the presence of blood painted on the top and sides of the door was a testimony to the faith of those who dwelled in the home.1 For the Israelites, God’s promise to “pass over” them ensured their physical protection.
Today, I cannot control what will happen to my family or me. However, I can protect my soul as I practice trusting in Jesus. Jesus, the Lamb of God who gave his life for us, redefined Passover to be an eternal protection. Whether you walk out the door to deploy, or you simply go to the grocery store, you can be confident of this eternal protection. The person who trusts in Christ can be certain that death and the grave will not overcome.
Passover is a Jewish observance characterized by careful preparations.2 What preparation have you made for your soul-care as you approach this deployment?
Prayer for the Journey
Father, you have called me on this journey and I want to trust you for every step. Help me trust you for the protection of my family—both now and for eternity. Amen.
1 Douglas Stuart, Exodus: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2006), 283.