I hated admitting it to myself and to God that in those few moments, few hours and even those few days; I wanted to go back. I wanted to go back to what was, even though I knew exactly where it had gotten me and all of the pain I had lived through. Yes, I can look back now and see how much and how far God has delivered me from all those old and painful situations but in this moment I wanted to go back to Egypt.
I saw something shown to me by a friend that was a glimpse of what I had left behind in "Egypt" to get to the "Promised Land." I thought a moment like this would fill me with glee because I was so far past it and that at this point I would be able to laugh it off and it would have no effect on me. That did not happen. I held it together in the sight of my present company, but I felt like I was just blindsided by a commuter train. There it was, that strange pull of Egypt; the land of bondage and pain that I had left for a promise of a better life. The questions starting flooding my mind and my heart felt as if it was being tossed in a title wave and I had lost my sense of direction; I could not come up for air.
“Why do I feel this way? God, did I do something wrong? I really thought I was past this. What happened?”
In the next few days came the tears, the kind of tears that pour out of a faucet that you cannot turn off. I prayed, cried and prayed again. I begged God for the answers to why and then felt horrible that I had longed for a land that I had once begged God to rescue me from.
Sometimes, we need situations like these to show us that there may be wounds that really are not fully healed. In order to take hold of those things God has promised for our lives we must be fully healed from past hurts, because if we are not they will forever taint our lives, decisions and keep us from following God wholeheartedly. This is not meant to harm us nor is it meant for us to start questioning our walk with God, but to continue to weed out the rotten roots that keep us from fully experiencing the life God has for us.
Egypt was a place where Israelites were made slaves and ruled over by an evil king. “So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly” (Exodus 1:11-14 NIV).
This lead me to ask and seek the reasons why so often we still have this strange pull back to the Egypt’s in our lives; those lands of bondage.
- Though there is pain and bondage, it seems to be so much easier back there in Egypt. Being in Egypt required a lot less faith. We could usually get what we wanted when we wanted it, but it came with dire consequences that sometimes would take years to see. It was a slow agonizing death covered with what we wanted and those wants were always faulty and short lived.
- Fear and Doubt. We fear due to our impatience that we will never have better than what we have left in Egypt. It is a form of doubt that since we have not fully seen this “Promised Land” that it might not exist or be quite as sweet as it has been portrayed to be.
Things we must remember:
- The Word of God never said it was easy. The Word does say however that we are to forget what is behind us and strain ahead for what is ahead of us. “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” (Philippians 3:13 NIV) To strain requires effort and is not a stagnant process. The definition itself of strain is, “a force tending to pull or stretch something to an extreme or damaging degree.”
- Stay the course. This phrase has come into my spirit whenever I have been praying about things recently. It means to keep going strongly to the end of a race or contest no matter what opposition, obstacles or criticism may come (and they will come). By staying the course it produces the most important things within ourselves, it refines us. “It is dangerous to arrive without our character mature or intact. Character and strength often come through staying the course.”- Lisa Bevere
- It is okay to cry or have a few days of grieving. It is okay to have your moments of feeling not okay, but it is imperative that you do not stay in that place.
- God saw this coming. You are not out of His plan or eye, ever. Everything goes through Gods hands first. That gives me so much comfort even in the worst situations. Though I know that can be a difficult concept for most.
- You often experience the most pain and opposition when you are closest to your next breakthrough, victory and/or blessing.
”Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD, and I 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 with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.” (Exodus 6:6-8)