What do we do when life gets worse instead of better? What happens when we feel and believe that God is about to turn things around and we’re sure he promised he would and then, well, he doesn’t. Things get worse. The pain gets more intolerable. The relationships divide further. The money problems get bigger. What do we do then? What happens when we put all our hope in God doing something—something he said he would do—and then things go further in the wrong direction?
Flounder. That’s usually what we do. Struggle. Give up or in our out. We doubt, we hurt, we question. We stop trusting.
So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery. Exodus 6:9
We are just like the Israelites. Time may have separated us, cultures and mindsets may be completely changed, but we are no different. They refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged. For them it was their slavery, admittedly far worse than anything most of us will face in life. But for us it’s usually circumstantial as well. We become to discouraged by our suffering, our mistreatment, our sense of unwanted-ness. Maybe it’s our fear, our repeated failures, our lack of having our own needs met in our relationships. We become discouraged by our questions that go unanswered, our pursuits that go unresolved, our friendships that are broken.
The list goes on and on. Things happen and we become discouraged. Nothing wrong with this. Life is sometimes discouraging. But we stop listening to what God is saying; stop trusting that he is working; stop running after the ways that he’s leading.
Why? Because things went badly? Because we thought he was coming to rescue and instead it felt like he turned and went the other way?
The Israelites just knew God wasn’t coming because the immediate things got harder. And after all, if God is going to do a miracle, won’t it be instantaneous? It took Moses forty years in the desert of Midain just to be ready to come to the Israelites so I’m thinking maybe we are too short-term focused, too oriented to immediate gratification.
Whatever you are in, wherever you find your self, how ever discouraging it is, hang in there. Keep listening, God is speaking. Keep looking, God is moving. Keep trusting, God hears your cries for help and he is concerned. He is coming. Maybe not as soon as you’d like, but he is knows where you are and he cares.
You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. And I am well aware of my covenant with them.
“Therefore, say to the people of Israel: `I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. Exodus 6:5-7