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Some through the Fire

Some through the Fire

Exodus 11:1

The LORD said to Moses, “Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely.”

As I ponder the bittersweetness of this fresh manna Moses partakes of—bitter because it promises more suffering for millions of people, but sweet because it reassures him that the end of that suffering is close at hand—it strikes me that Moses continues to obey the word of God even though he doesn’t exactly understand it. In other words, Moses doesn’t trust God because he understands the significance of ten plagues over nine, or because he’s connected all the symbolical dots between these plagues and their reference to the invisible spiritual war, or because he’s seen behind the veil of Providence into the thousands of lives being refined in this furnace of affliction; he trusts God because it’s the right course of action. He acts before he comprehends, which recalls to mind a quote ascribed to St. Augustine, “Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.”

Friend, what bittersweet manna is the Spirit asking you to eat afresh today? What ongoing suffering in the refining furnace of affliction are you pleading with Him to end, because you haven’t got the strength to face the fires again? What obstinacy from a friend or loved one has brought one plague after another into your life, and you’ve grown weary of asking the Lord to soften a heart that only hardens further? Surely nine is enough! Ten—that’s too many, Lord!

Remember: God knows your limit. He knows what you can bear. And, more than that, He knows the radiant you that will come forth from this particular refining furnace and shine as gold. So don’t let all the unresolved and unanswerable questions get in the way of you taking your Good Shepherd’s hand today, and trusting that His will for you is good, perfect, and beyond imagination. Because if you wait for everything to make sense in your mind before you take that step in your heart, you’ll be waiting an eternity.