Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Great and the Terrible

We were slaves of …, but the LORD brought us out…with a mighty hand. Before our eyes the LORD sent miraculous signs and wonders – great and terrible…But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised…” De 6:21-23.

As last weekend drew to a close I noticed that Bruce had been very quiet on Sunday. We had enjoyed a wonderful weekend with my mother and our youngest daughter at the beach. The ride home seemed to be a little quieter than usual, and it seemed he had some things on his mind. I know this is a challenging time for Bruce as he waits to see what God has in store for his vocation in the future. The past year has been full of testing and resting…repairing and restoring…wondering and worshipping, a time of the great and the terrible. What is God doing? When will His plan be revealed? What does the future hold? How will this all play out? Bruce’s mind and heart during this time have been on the Lord, who blesses those who hope and trust in Him. After a quiet day of consideration, the Lord focused Bruce’s mind and heart on the blessings of where he is now. As Bruce heard an airplane overhead he was overcome with gratitude that he was not on that plane. As the evening hours marched on his heart was thankful that he wasn’t in some hotel getting ready for a grueling week ahead. He had been a slave to his work schedule for many years, and God brought him out of those terrible circumstances. Like the Israelites, God brought Bruce out to bring him in to intimacy with the Father. He brought him out to bring him in to rest and time to serve Him. He brought him out of despair to bring him in to delight. There is a future land for Bruce to conquer but only in the Lord’s perfect timing and strength.

We have all been slaves to something, and some of us are still slaves to many things. We are slaves to fear because of that medical diagnosis. We are slaves to money no matter how much we have. We are slaves to bitterness that splinters our fellowship with God. We are slaves to our schedule that we should be master over, not mastered by. We can be confident that Jesus will eventually deal with us on whatever enslaves us. We were never meant to live in slavery, because Christ came to set us free. Before our eyes, the Lord will orchestrate our deliverance from our enslavement through certain situations…some great…some terrible. After we have been rescued we must always recall how enslaved we were and the freedom in which we find ourselves. ‘The whole point of remembering their slavery was to help them automatically become conscious of their current state of freedom. Relief was meant to sweep over their souls as they thought back to the shackles that had once threatened them to dusty walls and barren posts. A spring of gratitude would well up inside them because now they were liberated’ Breathe, p. 93-94.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” Gal 5:1.

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