Exodus 6:9 So Moses told the people what the LORD had said, but they wouldn’t listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the increasing burden of their slavery. (NLT)
How often do I fail to hear God’s promises because I’m discouraged by my burdens? And sometimes the burdens that hit me in this life seem like slavery. I’m trapped. There is no way of escape. My taskmaster has a whip and is using it. Sometimes I want to shout, "God, take me out of Egypt!!" But I’m not listening to what He is saying. Or I’m not believing what He has said already. He’s promised deliverance but I’m deaf to His words.
There are certain promises God has given me through the years. I believe His promises are true. But I also know that I have a set idea in my head of how God will bring those promises to fruition. And while I’m at it, I’m pretty sure I know the best time line, too. Like, how about right now! Then burdens come, trials and temptations, times in the wilderness when it seems like I am utterly alone and forsaken, and I forget those promises I’ve heard. I don’t listen because of my discouragement. I am enslaved, but more because of my lack of hearing than because of what my personal "Egyptians" are doing to me.
I got an email from a reader whose son is in rebellion. Her heart is breaking. My heart breaks with hers. I know this pain. It’s a wilderness experience, when any 24 hours feels like 40 years. Why is this happening to me? we wonder. We begin second guessing and doubting.
You know, those 9 hours the disciples were in that boat in the storm (between the time Jesus told them to go out in the boat about 6 p.m. and the time He came walking to them on the water about 3 a.m.) must have seemed to go on forever. The waves were high. The boat was surely going to sink and everyone perish. The men were exhausted by it all. And the disciples had been obedient, too. They had done exactly what Jesus told them to do, and still they were caught in the storm (note: the storms of life don’t mean we are in sin or disobedience). But Jesus came at the right time. He didn’t forsake them.
So this post is a reminder to myself to listen to God’s plans. Don’t become deaf, even if and when discouragements come.
I’m in the grip of His grace.