This was one of my most frequently used idioms in my O’level English compositions. Back then, it was just a fancy idiom that had a way of exaggerating the situation and earning me extra marks from my teacher. Now that I am a little more grown up, I realize that such dilemmas do actually exist and there is nothing fancy about them. Up until recently, if someone asked me if I have ever been through a “rock and hard place” situation, the ‘of course’ would have rolled off my tongue as easily as if they had asked if I had ever blinked; however, after a lot of thought on the subject, I am not quite sure if I really have ever had to face such a moment. I have heard the chance of listening to the problems of a few people around me and all I could do was sit there, agape with wonder and perplexity at how much people endure while some of us whine about our hair, shoes and dresses thinking that they are actual problems.
While reading my Bible a few weeks ago, I came across a ‘between a rock and hard place’ situation that the Israelites faced;
Exodus 14: 9-12
So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses [and] chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zemphon. And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD. Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
You can hardly blame the Israelites for panicking and complaining to the point of asserting that it would have been much better for them to remain as slaves in Egypt. When the Israelites lifted up their eyes and saw the Egyptians advancing against them, all they could see was death around them: there was the sea to one side which sea they obviously could not cross; they had no boats, no rafts, nothing. And then there was the Egyptians that were steadily advancing; they were armed and were in chariots whilst the Israelites were on foot, had no weapons and definitely stood no chance against the Egyptians. And all around was an empty wilderness, that would definitely kill anyone that escaped the sea and the Egyptians. All the options they had were dead ends, except one: The God they served. When Moses cried unto Him, He did what until then had been an impossibility, an option someone could never have thought because it would have seemed plain stupid in the face of impending danger; He split the Red Sea! Right before their eyes, the sea parted and there appeared dry land! Unbelievable! Inconceivable! And yet it did happen. The Lord literally created a way where there was no way before. He made a road in the thickness of the rock that stood before the Israelites and just like that, they were no longer between a rock and a hard place!
To anyone out there, that is stuck between that rock and hard place, do not lose hope: Call out to God! He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above what we can imagine or ask. He is the Lord, God of all creation and there’s nothing too hard for Him. If He was able to split the Red Sea, He’s definitely got you!