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Growing Pains

Growing Pains

Exodus 4:29-31

Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel. Aaron spoke all the words that the LORD had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people. 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.

Don’t you wish all days could be like Exodus 4:29-31? If only verse 31 was the last line in the book, the final punctuation mark to generations of suffering and enslavement and oppression never to be felt again, and it simply added, “They lived happily ever after.” But life in a fallen, transient world isn’t like that is it? These Hebrews won’t be bowing down in worship for very long either. Soon, in fact the very next day, they’ll be bowing beneath a load of bricks that just got heavier. So while this euphoric scene here in Exodus 4 feels like the start of a new chapter, a gateway to the long awaited promised land, it’s just the calm before a heavier storm: the reload before a vicious siege: the mountaintop before the avalanche. Which reminds me of something my mom said to me often growing up: “Son, I always prayed that God would make you a man after His own heart, but I wished He could get you there without all the suffering that goes with it.” That’s another way of saying, “Father, if You are willing, please remove this cup from me!” (Luke 22:42). And we aren’t stronger than Jesus, are we? We’d all like a safer, more straight-forward path to glory than the self-sacrificing route. Why do Sunday rests tend to get followed up by Monday blues? Why do day of reformation give way to days of apostasy? Why does the building of temples eventually turn into the desecration of temples? In other words, why can’t we just stay here in Exodus 4:32 forever—period: exclamation point: end of story!

Friend, whether life for you right now is a pot-luck with your brothers or a tiresome search for straw, never forget that God is making something glorious out of your unique travails—a better you. And you’ll appreciate the Promised Land more because of them.