The Israelites are having second thoughts. Despite risking everything for freedom, after seeing great signs and wonders through Moses, they have reached a point of no return and now the full force of their enslavement is bearing down.

It is amazing how easily, how quickly the richness and vibrancy of faith can drain from our cupped hands. With near certainty, we can expect our worst attachments to revisit, even after we are fully dedicated to the liberation God offers us in faith.

But God is unphased by these dark forces. He might even be extra motivated by them. “The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I receive glory through Pharaoh and his chariots and charioteers.”

Picture those things that are most scary, most intense, and most likely to bring us to abandon what is true and good. Can you see the chariots? Ego, addiction, power, anger, selfishness, racism, greed, vanity, insecurity, pettiness… Yeah, those things. God intends to flat out massacre them, to make a mess of our scariest temptations and for their defeat to burn as a persisting flame of glory within us. “Stand your ground …”

—Sean Agniel is ending a term as the provincial’s assistant for secondary and pre-secondary education for the U.S. Central and Southern Province. This summer he will begin working at St. Louis University High School as the advancement chief of staff.