We’ll never walk alone down the Red Sea road

Rev. Otto G. Thieme, longtime shepherd of Timothy Lutheran Church and School, c. 1965

“When we can’t see the way/ He will part the waves/ And we’ll never walk alone/ Down the Red Sea road.”- Ellie Holcomb

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.  They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.”- Psalm 89:15, 16

“There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect.”- G. K. Chesterton

As an eighth grade student at Timothy Lutheran School in Chicago, I grasped the unique opportunity to participate in two diverse confirmation classes.  One class met Saturday mornings at Ashburn Lutheran, my home congregation.  The other class, let by Rev. Otto G. Thieme, took the place of one regularly scheduled religion class at Timothy’s day school.

In contrast to an updated version of Luther’s Small Catechism used by Pastor Lillie at Ashburn, Rev. Thieme used the tried and true original version.  Complete with proof texts.  Most importantly, though, Rev. Thieme gently spoke God’s language of possibility.  Furthermore, as a true shepherd and guide, he compassionately communicated Jesus’ forgiveness and understanding.

Writing in Glory Days, pastor and author Max Lucado defines a stronghold as “a false premise that denies God’s promise. . . . It seeks to eclipse our discovery of God.  It attempts to magnify the problem and minimize God’s ability to solve it.”  In other words, Max asks, does a specific stronghold maintain a strong hold over you?  Is your everyday speech peppered with the language of impossibility?

Furthermore, it seems like you’ve been walking a long time.  In Exodus, the Hebrew people marching around Jericho certainly felt that way.  And even though God told Joshua Jericho’s walls would fall on the seventh day, Joshua didn’t inform the people.  They just kept walking that Red Sea road of trust.  Thus, we need to cultivate the God-drenched mind.

Therefore, acknowledge the presence of problems, but immerse your mind in God-thoughts.  As Max cautions, when you marinate your mind in your problems, like battery acid, those problems corrode and corrupt your thoughts.  In contrast, God-drenched thoughts preserve and refresh your attitudes.

As you ponder God’s holiness, Pastor Lucado exhorts, let His splendor stun and inspire you.  And turn a deaf ear to doubters.  Disregard cynics and their lethal disbeliefs.  Instead, fill your mind with faith.  Take on a God-sized challenge.  Most of all, keep walking the Red Sea road.  For all you know, this may be the day the sea parts or your walls of fear come tumbling down!

About the author

    Dave Henning

  • Avatar William & Carol Niebergall says:

    Thanks for sharing, David. Pastor Thieme indeed had the qualities that you describe.

  • Avatar Mickey Watley says:

    So true. It’s easy to let your mind turn to the negative side of things when true hope turns your mind to God. “We either get better or we get bitter”.


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