Time to sidetrack a little for a short Bible study:
I like the Old Testament. I love the stories and history there. When I struggle, I am too close to the situation to understand the big picture, so reading about experiences of others helps me understand things that might be happening in my own life.
The story of Moses talks about a time that the Children of Israel lived under terrible slavery in Egypt. Back breaking slavery. They were forced to make bricks by hand and build things for the King. Whippings and beatings and death were everyday happenings. For years and years the people cried out to God to set them free. God heard them. He chose Moses to lead them out of slavery into freedom. (You remember the movie...Charlton Heston...the parting of the Red Sea.) These people who had been beaten and treated cruelly for years, now watch as God begins to shake things up. Amazing displays of God's power are used to convince Pharaoh to "Let My People Go!" God sends plagues of frogs, gnats, flies, sick animals, locus, hail, boils, water turning to blood, and even death. Finally, Pharaoh says they can go. They are free. FREE!!! No more brick making. No more whippings. They can walk away. God is going to lead them to a land 'flowing with milk and honey'.
At first they celebrate. They are so thankful. They sing and dance. Then....it gets tough. It's scary out there in the desert. They get hungry - and God sends food. For a while they relax and trust God to care for them. It gets scary again. They get thirsty - which causes panic. Guess what they say? "Moses, why did you take us out of Egypt?" They wanted to run back to Egypt, back to slavery. Why? Because that's where they felt safe. Even though it was awful and they were slaves.....it was what they knew. It was their security.
I can relate. I've watched this cycle happen to others close to me and watched it happen in my own life. We pray and ask God to 'set us free' from something. It might be: Debt. Stress. Miserable jobs. Abusive relationships. Fear. Wrong belief's. Depression. Complaining. Sleeplessness. Addictions. Worry. Anger. Bitterness. Inability to trust. Guilt. Unforgiveness.....and on and on. All of these things are able to keep us from being free. Then, when God begins to shake things up in order to start the 'get'n free' process, we panic and want to run back to 'Egypt'.
I can see many times that God spotlighted an areas of my life that needed to be set free. And He usually spotlights areas by shaking things up. Sometimes He uses frogs. I've had to face wrong beliefs I've held since childhood that have kept me bound. Sometimes He uses hail. I've dealt with paralyzing fear. Sometimes he allows death....(not always physical death, but death of a dream.) I've had to let my demands go that I was placing on my children to be who and what I thought they should be.
Before the shake-up begins, I might hate my Egypt (my slavery), but I'm not leaving it. That's too scary. Leaving has too many unknowns. I know how to live in my slavery. I am used to that. So, God adds some locus. Not to be mean to me, but to get me moving so He can set me free. And I begin to follow Him. Kinda' excited. Kinda' thankful. Kinda' scared. Wondering every step: CAN I REALLY trust God? The future looks hopeful. But what if I get hungry? What if I get thirsty? What if, what if, what if....
And what do I do? I usually want to run back to Egypt. I felt more secure there. But little by little, I learn to trust. I've walked through major moves and job changes and unknown tomorrows, and found out that on the other side of change, life can be 'not only okay', but usually better.
I truly believe this current adventure is just another shake up....in order for God to, yet again, set me free. Hey, where did all these flies come from? Anyone have a fly swatter?
More to come as year #2 is just a few miles ahead......