Guttural sobs echoed in the guard’s ears as they raced along the corridor. Rounding the corner they encountered one of the sources, Pharaoh, kneeling in the center of the room. A body sprawled before him.
Unsure of what to do, the guards fidgeted at the entrance, fighting the urge to stare, yet unable to stop themselves. They flinched as Pharaoh released another mournful wail and then slumped over the body, confirming what they already knew. The king’s son, like many others, was dead.
Pharaoh rose. Bloodshot eyes pierced each man as he scanned the entourage. “Moses,” he spoke through gritted teeth. “Bring. Me. Moses.”
His words filtered through the guards, yet the men hesitated.
“Now!” Pharaoh commanded.
The head sentry clutched his sword. “At once,” he bowed as he spoke, and then scurried away.
Banging on the outer door woke Moses. He sprung from his reclined position as guards pushed through and grabbed him.
“Come with us,” the head sentry ordered. “Pharaoh commands your presence!”
Torches illuminated the burly men pointing spears his direction. “Let’s go,” someone spoke and shoved him into the night.
Moses and the soldiers disappeared. Darkness settled over the area.
As Moses slid to the ground, his cloak brushed the staff, dislodging it from the propped position against the wall. The wooden stick crashed into a water pitcher, startling the group huddled together, praying.
Simeon jumped. “Moses! You are safe. Praise Yahweh!”
“Yes, praise Yahweh,” replied Moses.
“Pharaoh?” Simeon wasn’t sure how to finish his question.
“We can leave.” Moses’s answered.
“What do you mean?” asked Remiel.
“Pharaoh has released us. We are free to leave Egypt.”
The Israelites spent 430 years in captivity longing to be rescued. Imagine their emotion as the news of freedom circulated through each family. Did they cheer and clap and sing? As they reached the outskirts of the city, did they skip and dance? As they stepped into the desert, did they talk about their dreams for the future?
Whatever their initial reaction, at some point in their journey, enthusiasm waned and disenchantment took its place.
The desert was hot and dusty. From their perspective, it was taking too long to reach their final destination. Minor irritations turned to grumbling. Complaints mounted and spread throughout the clan. Instead of focusing on God’s promises, their thoughts reminded them of what they left behind. Instead of longing to push forward, they longed to go back – back to Egypt.
At least there, they were fed.
At least there, they knew what to expect.
At least there, misery was their comfort.
But in the desert, uncertainty became their misery. And uncertainty was more than they could handle.
They hit a snag, a bump in the road. This bump caused them to doubt the faithfulness of God. It caused them to reflect on the past, to remember how good life once was, even if life wasn’t as good as they remembered.
Can you relate? I sure can. There was a time when I needed my circumstances to change. Desperate for God to hear my petitions, I prayed, fasted, begged God for mercy, and prayed some more.
After what seemed like an eternity, God answered my prayers. For a time, I celebrated with thanksgiving and adulation. When the first roadblock surfaced, I maneuvered around the obstacle. But then obstacles continued to emerge. Initially, I attacked the roadblock challenges with as much enthusiasm as one would attack the pop up puppets in the Whack-a-Mole game. But after awhile, I lost my enthusiasm. Doubt crept in, and at one point, I found myself angry with God for delivering me from my previous challenging circumstances. I remembered what I had left behind, and I longed to return – return to Egypt.
For days I wrestled with God about these new obstacles. Finally, I spoke with someone who reminded me that God was not the kind of God to lead individuals out of Egypt and mid-way through the desert say, “You’re on your own now, good luck to you.”
Because of that discussion, I realized I had lost focus. My focus was on the obstacle, but my focus needed to be on God and his faithfulness.
I also realized something else – I needed prayer support. So, I contacted a few friends and asked for prayer. My friends committed to pray for me for a period of time. And that made all the difference. Finally, I was able to look beyond the obstacles. By refocusing on Christ, I regained my footing.
And I stopped longing – longing for Egypt.
Maybe you are currently at a similar place – you’ve been rescued, but hit a snag, lost your focus and find yourself longing for Egypt.
At this point in the post I could quote a number of scripture references, and while it is important to stay grounded in God’s word, I doubt that’s what you need from me at this moment. So, I’d like to offer you what my friends offered me – prayer support. While I typed this post I prayed for you, but maybe there’s a specific request you would like someone to pray about with you.
For the next 30 days, I’d be honored to pray for you. Calendar dates will be from Tuesday, October 27, to Thursday, November 26, which is Thanksgiving Day.
Perhaps you are hesitant to share a request with someone you don’t know. Since God already knows your circumstances, I don’t need to know the details. Simply send your request in the following manner: “I have an unspoken request, please pray for me.”
What do you say? Isn’t it time to remember God’s faithfulness and stop longing – longing for Egypt?
Prayer requests can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Communication through the email will NOT show up on my website, and I will NOT share your requests with others on-line.
Photo is compliments of Morguefile.