Where is God in My Life?

     The crazy lives that we live are marked by all different seasons. There are those great seasons that we hope will continue forever. On the other end of the spectrum are the seasons that we wish would have ended a month ago. It is easy to wonder where God is during those difficult times in our lives. Where is God when my life is hard?

     Maybe you have often pondered what a blessing it would be to know what is coming around the corner. I would like to suggest that it could actually be curse. Imagine how paralyzing the knowledge of a future catastrophe would be to everyday living.  We would be immobilized by fear, too scared to leave the house! There is a reason why Jesus taught, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34). I cannot imagine the weight of trying to carry all of those future burdens together ahead of time.  

     An account from Exodus had me pondering a passage where the people wondered “Where is God and why are things not going the way we expected?” The account from Exodus is when Moses asked Pharaoh to give the people of Israel three days off to go worship their God in the desert. Let’s just say things did not go well. Part of the challenge for the Israelite’s, and us, is we fail to understand that God is working through the difficulties

    Just days before Moses’ request, Moses, Aaron, the leaders and the people were excited that the Lord was going to deliver them from Egyptian oppression. We read, “And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.” (Exodus 4:31). Their spirits were lifted by the promise of God’s deliverance. The result was a time of gratitude and worship because of God’s favor toward them. I hope you have been excited about the Lord’s leading and working in your life. The challenge is that we often forget that God’s way of working in not the same as ours.

    Pharaoh’s response was less than agreeable to their request for a leave of absence from his slave labor. His response was not, “Oh, take all the time you need!”  (I wonder if this may have been the Israelite’s expectation). Instead we read, “But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens.”” (Exodus 5:4). Instead, Pharaoh made their hard lives even harder by requiring that they collect their own materials for making the required quota of bricks. I am reminded that just because my situation is hard does not mean that God is not working!

    This resulted in the people falling behind in meeting their quota and the Egyptians beating the Israelite foremen for falling behind. Because of this, the people, the foremen and even Moses were discouraged. I am sure the people blamed the foremen, the foreman blamed Moses and Aaron, and we read that Moses blamed the Lord. He even questioned the Lord’s leading in his life! I know how easy it is to feel the same way. We must understand that the Lord always keeps His promises!

    I love the Lord’s response to Moses. He does not zap him with a lightning bolt. But firmly reminds him that He is working, by giving him a short history lesson of His faithfulness and a glimpse into what He is doing. “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.” (Exodus 6:1). And we know how that Biblical account ends! Let us hold on to the Lord to do what He promised even when the situation turns in a direction we did not expect.

-Pastor Joe Parkinson

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