The Real You

“25 And he cried to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them,26…I am the LORD, your healer.”

     Exodus 15:25-26

Read Exodus 15:22-27

Have you ever had a knee jerk reaction when driving? Perhaps someone cut you off. Perhaps the other driver was engaging in some aggressive driving. What is your first reaction? If you are like me you may voice you frustration with a grunt, a sigh or even get angry at the other driver. I remember doing this sort of complaining. Immediately, I apologized and made excuses for myself. I told my wife, “It wasn’t really me. It was just my Mediterranean upbringing.”

Who we really are is revealed when we are pushed to our limits.

In this story the people of Israel have successfully escaped the clutches of Pharaoh. They are now free, hot, tired and thirsty. When they finally find a desert well. They discover its waters, like so many other desert wells, are bitter. They feel let down.

Their response: murmur. There are over a dozen passages in the Pentateuch where such ‘murmuring’ is mentioned. They grumble against Moses. They grumble against God.  By their grumbling reaction, Israel showed only too clearly their true nature when under test.

Here is the first of successive heart surgeries where God wants to heal Israel. God desires to change Israel in such a way that when pushed in extremis—to its visceral limit—it will ooze not bitterness but sweetness.

God proclaims that he will turn the bitter into sweet. Many years later in a Garden called the “Olive Press” (Gethsemane).  The real personality of a person pushed to the extreme will be revealed. It is only when olives are crushed that they yield a beautiful and healing oil. Jesus, when pushed to his extreme limit, shows us the true healing of the heart that God desires to effect in humanity. He wants to take our grumbling and bitterness and turn it into something beautiful and sweet. It is in the waters of testing, that Jesus transforms our will into something beautiful.

Today let God heal you.


“Father, as I go through the pressures of life, may I discover the who I really am. May I also become who you really desire me to be. Test me. Try me. Purify me. Fashion me more in your image that I may be able to say ‘Your will be done’ rather than ‘My will be done.’ I ask this all for the sake of your Son, Jesus.  Amen.”