What's Your Egypt?
I don’t understand Lord, but you do.
Looking back through my journals over the last school year, this seemed to be a consistent theme in my prayers. It wasn’t an easy year, definitely the hardest yet. This year I’ve made more big-girl decisions than most other years, I guess that comes with entering your 20s; you have to start to figure out your life: who you are, what you want to do, and who you want to share it with.
But it’s the oldest story in the book, the most difficult seasons are rewarded with the most growth. My faith and trust in the Lord has grown immensely because, in all honesty, that is the only consistent thing that we as humans will ever know. Circumstances change, friends change, schedules change, boyfriends change, but God will never change. He is the same yesterday as today and will be the same 600 years from now. The Bible shows story after story of God’s faithfulness. That’s what we have to always come back to.
The Old Testament is more of a challenge for me to read than the New Testament. Those stories are ones that I heard a hundred times growing up in Sunday school so I generally find myself keeping to the New Testament. But this year I challenged myself to read a chapter from a book in the Old Testament a day. I read through Habakkuk, Esther, Jonah, Hosea, Nahum, Psalms, Zechariah, Haggai, and I am currently reading through Exodus.
What I’ve found, chapter after chapter and book after book, is that the Lord fulfills his promises. Every time. He is faithful every time. God’s divine plan shines on. His people don’t always understand, but as His people, it’s not our job to understand. It’s our job to seek Him in all we do and He will guide us because He is good and He will bring us through the storm.
In Exodus, God sends Moses to set His people free. What’s funny is that God specifically says in Exodus 7:3, But I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply My miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt.
He intentionally is keeping them under the pharaoh’s dominion — but for a good purpose: so that He will be made known.
Again in chapter 14:3-4 God says, Then I’ll make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn again and he’ll chase after them. And I’ll use Pharaoh and his army to put my Glory on display. Then the Egyptians will realize that I am God.
Over and over, God says that He is using Pharaoh’s hard heart to put His glory on display. But the people don’t see this; they begin to lose trust. Because the storm is rough. The battle is tough and it hurts. It feels like you’re out on a raft, alone in the middle of the ocean, with no sight of land.
God’s people are crying out in frustration and anger. They say, Leave us alone…it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert (verse 12).
They would rather be slaves than go to God’s promised land and flourish? We know the story so well that we know they come out on the other side. We know He holds true to His promise and we know that He delivers them.
But don’t we carry the same mistrust these people did?
God knows that we will face trials and we will go into battles that we alone can’t win. But God promises that through it all, He will be made known and He has plans to prosper us, not to harm us.
God knows that we will come out stronger on the other side — we must trust that; we must have faith.
It’s so easy to revert to old ways because at least you know how it will be. This is why we fall back into the patterns of toxic friendships, past relationships, and bad habits. Those are our Egypt’s. At least we know the outcome. It’s comfortable because it’s predictable. But God says, My sweet children, I have something far better for you. Just trust me.
What is it that you go back to? Where do you find safety instead of stepping out in faith?
I don’t understand Lord, but you do.
When I was struggling through a breakup, one of my best friends told me, “it’s not God’s character to replace something good with something worse. It’s just not.” We weren’t created to live an ordinary life. We were created to live extraordinarily in freedom with our Jesus. God’s only “no” is a protective one. We may not understand at the time, but He does. It’s our job to trust that and stand firm on that promise.
-Kaity Bryant // @kaitybryant