God Is with Us on Our Journey

Yael Eckstein  |  January 27, 2022

yom kippur goats

See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. — Exodus 23:20

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Mishpatim, which means “laws,” from Exodus 21:1–24:18.

One of my favorite childhood memories was when I was a little girl learning to ride a bike. My father, Fellowship Founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, of blessed memory, was right by my side, and the rest of my family stood watching and encouraging me. My father held on to back of the bike while I pedaled, and he followed. The second time we went around the block, my father slowly let go, and I kept pedaling without realizing that I was riding on my own!

A few short moments later, as soon as realized that my father had let go, I felt scared and crashed right into a bunch of bushes. I felt like I had failed, but my father was cheering. “Yael! You did it! You were amazing!” He came over, hugged me, and told me how proud he was.

That day I learned that I was totally capable of riding my bike until I became afraid. It was fear that brought me down, not my ability. Whether God is holding onto your bike or your father is, someone is looking over you and believes in you. You can do it; don’t fear and you won’t crash!

God Is with Us on Our Journey

In this week’s Torah portion, God reassured the children of Israel that He would be with them as they traveled to the Promised Land, the land of Israel. God knew that this nation of recently freed slaves might not have the confidence to confront the pagan nations who would oppose their return to the land of their forefathers — Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

So, like the loving father that He is, God reassured them that He would be with them. To be more precise, He promised to send “an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.

The nation of Israel would have many struggles with other nations in the future. So right here at the beginning of their journey, God promised to “hold onto the bike” while they learned to ride.

God is with us on our journey, too. He will give us the strength to get to where we need to go, to the “place I have prepared.” He has a plan for our lives, and He’s right there with us all the time. We must never think that we’re alone, or we could end up crashing into the bushes!

Your Turn:

Is there a challenge that you have been hesitant about facing? Remember that God is with you. Put your trust in Him, and He will lead you to success.