April 5, 2021
When You Can't See What God is Doing, Remember This
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"But the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge about the people of Israel and about Pharaoh king of Egypt: to bring the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt." Exodus 6:13 (ESV)
I didn't know whether to cry or laugh. The nurse's words rang in my ears: "The doctor wants you in the bed." My doctor ordered me to park myself in my bed for the sake of my unborn child.
Moments earlier, I had packed up my four children, all under the age of 6, in a bit of a rush. Knowing something wasn't right, I called my doctor, and she advised me to come to her office immediately. An ultrasound revealed a problem that threatened to harm both my baby and me.
As I gazed at the four smiling little faces nearby, the reality of the situation swirled through my thoughts. We lived thousands of miles from family. My husband's work schedule was rigid and exhausting. And we didn't have many close friends. I'm pretty sure my mouth was open, yet no words would form, and I definitely don't remember blinking. In an out-of-body type moment, I looked at the nurse and declared, "God will provide." I'm not positive I believed it, though.
Today's key verse records a charge God gave Moses and Aaron at a time when they may have been wondering if God would provide: "But the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge about the people of Israel and about Pharaoh king of Egypt: to bring the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt" (Exodus 6:13).
This wasn't the first time God told Moses to do this. Three chapters before, when God first called Moses, He said, "‘Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt'" (Exodus 3:10, ESV).
Moses had obeyed God. He went to Pharaoh and told him to let God's people go. Some scholars believe Israel might have been so expectant of being set free from slavery in Egypt that they may have gathered as a nation in a designated place to await the good news from Moses and Aaron.
What followed, however, was not what they had hoped for. Instead of meeting Moses' request with an agreeable "Yes! I'll help you pack!", Pharaoh retaliated. Not only did he refuse to let God's people go, but Pharaoh also decreased their resources while demanding the same amount of production. Consequently, Israel became broken-spirited. (Exodus 6:9)
In the wake of this devastating development, God's people abandoned hope that Moses would lead them out of captivity. They even turned against him, blaming him for their heightened plight. (Exodus 5:20-21) Between God's first instruction to Moses and the repeated instruction in our key verse, everything got worse.
It seems the events that unfolded caused everyone to wonder if God's plan had changed. (Exodus 5:20-23) But God's response remained the same. In the midst of hard and unexpected circumstances, God's plan never changed.
The eight chapters that follow detail how God delivered His people from Egypt, just as He said He would. Israel may not have always been able to see how their story would unfold, but even when they couldn't see, God's plans were still good.
When we can't see how God's will is being worked out, we can still trust that His plans are good. When our circumstances take us places we wouldn't have chosen, we can choose to hope in God's goodness and love.
During my days on bed rest, I questioned God's plan many times. I didn't fully understand His purposes and couldn't see all that He was doing, and I wished He could have achieved it another way. Finally, after several months of bed rest, we welcomed our healthy and happy fifth child to the world.
While I don't know everything God did during those bed rest days, I know He drew me nearer to Him. He showed me more of His love, truth and faithfulness than I had known before, and He brought me deeper into relationship with Him. And He'll do the same for you. On days when you don't understand what God is doing, choose to trust in Him anyway, and He'll show you just how faithful He is.
Dear God, thank You for the gift of Your perfect love and faithfulness. The next time I face circumstances that don't feel good, help me remember Your goodness and find comfort in Your plans. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 31:7, "I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul." (NLT)
Psalm 143:8, "Remind me each morning of your constant love, for I put my trust in you. My prayers go up to you; show me the way I should go." (GNT)
When you feel exhausted from doing the next "right" thing but don't see God moving and want to turn back ... When you think God is holding out on you, and you want to give up ... When you feel like you don't know which way to go and want to walk away ... God offers us a way when we don't know how we are going to make it through. Learn more in our next First 5 study, which starts TODAY! Join us for How Do I Get Through This? Pressing On When You Want To Turn Back, Give Up or Walk Away, An Exodus Study. Get started today in the First 5 app.
Stop by Katy McCown's website today for a free download of "7 Prayers to Help You Smile Without Fear."
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Write down one of the verses from today's "Truth for Today" or take a screenshot of it on your phone.
Put that verse somewhere you will see it often, and when you face circumstances you wouldn't have chosen, let the verse you wrote down remind you of God's goodness and love. And share with us in the comments which verse your chose and where you'll put it!
© 2021 by Katy McCown. All rights reserved.