Don’t Forget Your Tambourine!

One of the first gifts my husband gave me was a suitcase.  I remember unwrapping it, not knowing what it would be, even though the shape and size should have given it away.  He is a pilot, so I suppose a new suitcase is a gift I should have expected! While it really was a nice suitcase, I immediately thought it must be my ‘carry-on bag’, something to put a few extra things in while the majority of my luggage is packed in a larger bag.

This bag was great!  It had wheels and a cool pull-up handle…but it was just so small. I had always used a bigger suitcase, one that could hold whatever I might need. It was easy to pack a big suitcase. I could throw in anything I might need no matter the destination, a big bag could hold it all. With a smaller bag, I realized I had to put some thought into what I was taking with me on my journey. With limited space available, each item that went into the bag had to serve a purpose when we arrived at our destination. My packing procedures had to change!

I had to learn to pack my bag according to my journey. I made lists for what to bring when I was traveling to a warm destination and what to bring for the cold. Now, that works when you know where you are going. When the route has been determined and disclosed, packing a carry-on is a piece of cake!

But when you don’t know where your journey will take you, when you don’t know if the temperature is hot or cold, if the road is smooth or rocky, if the climate is wet or dry, if the journey is uphill or down, it’s much more difficult to know what to take in your bag

What do you pack when you are not sure where your journey will take you?

Miriam was a woman on a journey. After 400 years as slaves in Egypt, God’s people were headed to freedom! In Exodus 14, we read of the long awaited moment. After multiple warnings, plagues and a final heartache, Pharaoh told the people of Israel to get out of Egypt and get out NOW! It was time for God’s people to be delivered and this was going to be the journey of a lifetime. They knew God was taking them to their next destination, but they had no idea of the road ahead.  It was time to start packing.

But what do you pack for a journey when you are not sure where the road will take you?

Israel’s journey took them to the impossible. With the Red Sea in front of them and the enemy behind, God miraculously intervened. The waters of the Red Sea parted, God’s people walked through on dry ground, and the enemy was destroyed as the waters closed all around them. God delivered His people and destroyed their enemy. On the other side of their miracle, Miriam opened up her bag and…

‘…Miriam, the prophetess took out her tambourine….’ (Exodus 15:20)

 Miriam had packed her tambourine.  Tambourines had one purpose.They were used to praise God. Think about it. Miriam put that tambourine in her bag BEFORE the journey began. She packed that tambourine while she was still in her bondage, still in her chains, BEFORE she saw the answer to her prayers.  She had no idea what the outcome to this journey would be, but she knew there would be a reason to praise her God on the way!

When she got to the Red Sea and saw the enemy behind her, I wonder if she said, ‘God, I trust You, I am facing a challenge, but the waters won’t take me under, I’ve got my tambourine!’

When she walked through the sea on dry land, perhaps in her heart she said, ‘GOD!  I trust YOU!  I am going through it…but I have got my tambourine!

And when she got to the other side of the challenge, in a place where she was now free, I am sure she boldly prayed out loud to the One who set her free, ‘GOD, I TRUST YOU….I am on the other side! The road ahead is still unknown, but I am now free! I will praise You! I HAVE GOT MY TAMBOURINE!!

On the other side of the sea, with a tambourine in her hand and a song in her heart, Miriam, a slave set free, danced before the Lord!  The road ahead was still unknown, but He was worthy of praise, and no matter where He led them now, she would always be ready to praise!

Are you, like Miriam, on an unexpected journey? Have you struggled through 2017 and are now ready to see what God has for you in 2018? Has the journey been tougher than you thought? Maybe you anticipated this journey but you never thought this chapter, this scene, would be part of your story.

At every stage of our journey, there is always a reason to praise our God! Like Miriam, praise Him for Who He is and for what He has done.  Anticipate victory and walk according to His promises! Trust the One Who is always faithful to see you through. Get ready to pack, get ready for the journey…get ready to praise, my friend…

…and don’t forget your tambourine!

About Laura Piraino :

Laura Piraino

Laura Piraino is a wife, mother, teacher, conference speaker and pastor. She is currently on staff at Trinity Community Church in Hockessin, Delaware. Her greatest passion is teaching God’s Word to women with the purpose of empowering them to stand on the Word regardless of the challenges that come their way. Visit Laura’s website at