Monday, June 8, 2015


"Mama, my soup is too hot to eat," she announced with furrowed brow.

"Here's a little trick to help it cool down more quickly," I replied with a smile.  I picked up a spoon and began to stir the soup.

Immediately, steam began to rise from the bowl.

"You're making it worse!" she blurted.  Look at all that steam.  Stirring it is making it hotter!"

I tried to explain that what she was seeing was simply the trapped heat escaping, but the swirls of steam had her convinced that I was somehow heating her soup more.

That I was actually making it worse.

Moses thought his Father in Heaven was making things worse, too.  And, to be fair, it kind of looked like that was actually the case.  The Israelites were trapped.  Subject to cruel leaders.  Slaves forced to labor and toil under a ruthless regime.  And just when it seemed things couldn't get any worse, the LORD God instructed Moses to go to this cold-hearted Pharaoh and demand the release of the children of Israel. 

Moses' request was, of course, met with obstinate fury.  Not only did Pharaoh refuse to let God's people go, but he decided to turn up the heat on the Israelites.  And at Pharaoh's command, his leaders let the Israelites know how it was all going to go down:

"You know all those bricks you've been making with the straw we have provided?  Well, you're still going to make all those bricks, but now you are going to go gather your own straw with which to make those bricks!" 

The work got harder.  The slave drivers, more callous.  The tasks, more demanding.  Had God's assignment of Moses stirred the pot?  Did He make it worse?

"O LORD, why have you brought trouble upon Your people?" cried Moses.  "Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and You have not rescued Your people at all." 

I can't say I don't understand Moses' cries.  I've been on his side of things.  I've been misled by what my eyes have seen, wondering if my Heavenly Father is somehow "making it worse."  And yet God wasn't merely interested in lightening the load of His children. 

His eyes were on their complete and total deliverance.

"Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh," promised the LORD.  "Because of My mighty hand, he WILL let them go; because of My mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.  I have heard the groaning of My people, and I have remembered My covenant with them.  I am the LORD, and will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.  I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and mighty acts.  I am the LORD."

And He did.

Our God isn't making it worse.

He is making a way. 

I don't know what other word could suffice. 
When our eyes tell us one thing,
give us strength to trust Your ways,
to remember Your heart for Your people. 
* Scripture: Exodus 5 and 6

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