Wednesday, May 26, 2010

free: how easily we forget

Photo Credit: Fully Alive Photography

I've been reading in Exodus (yes, I'm behind on my one-year reading plan!) about the Israelites and their time of slavery in Egypt, as well the miraculous way God freed them from this miserable existence.

Pain, suffering, hopelessness, confusion, bitterness, doubt
These were the very things they needed to be freed from, many of these being their sinful responses to the oppression they experienced for so many years. And we know that those sins of the heart were entrapping them because even after God freed them from the hand of Pharoah, the physical suffering and pain, they continued to resort to the same emotions whenever they encountered suffering of any kind. It is the attitude we so often have, one of forgetfulness and pride that says, "Well yeah God, you freed me from this (awful thing I was going through) but now I have a new struggle and how in the world are you going to come through this time!? Maybe I'd be better off back where I was (in that awful thing I was going through)"

How easily we forget.

"As Pharoah and his army approached, the people of Israel could see them in the distance, marching toward them. The people began to panic, and they cried out to the Lord for help. Then they turned against Moses and complained, 'Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren't there enough graves for us in Egypt!? Why did you make us leave? Didn't we tell you to leave us alone while we were still in Egypt? Our Egyptian slavery was far better than dying out here in the wilderness!"

But Moses told the people, 'Don't be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch the Lord rescue you. The Egyptians that you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. You won't have to lift a finger in your defense!"

How easily we forget.

At first the Lord's instructions for the Passover seemed a little redundant, a little excessive. "Why do you care so much about this, God?" I asked. The details of when, how to kill the sacrifice, which lamb to choose, etc.
But God showed me the theme, the heart behind his instructions. The redundancy stemmed from God's heart for his people....

So you will not forget.

He knows the tendencies of our wayward hearts. He desires so much for us to remember his goodness, his power, his faithfulness. He wants us to trust him the next time we end up in a trial or struggle. Otherwise we turn our trust back to ourselves and are rendered powerless, hopeless, trapped. Remember! Remember that I'm the One who freed you last time, and I will do it again!

Lord, help us remember. Let us keep our eyes fixed on you!

"Since I am so sick,
Since I am in need,
Since I have no healing within me....
Oh my God, be mindful of me, you are my help and my Redeemer.
Oh my God, be mindful of me, you are my help and my Redeemer.
Surely those who wait on you will never be ashamed.
All of those who call on you will know the faithfulness of your name.
They'll know the faithfulness of your name!"
-100 Portraits and Water Deep-
Enter the Worship Circle
(I highly recommend these CD's, especially if you are prone to forget like I am)