Things are Getting Worse
by Mary Alice McGinnis
In my life, even when I am sure God has called me to a new path, I have found that often things get worse before they get better. What was a time in your life when things got worse before they got better?
Why is that? Maybe we can get a glimpse into some reasons as we look at today’s reading.
God’s chosen people were slaves in Egypt. Moses had been called by God to rescue them from their bondage. Earlier in Exodus 5, as a first step, Moses simply asks Pharaoh to allow his people to worship their God for only three days. Why does this seeming insignificant request unleash such coldhearted oppression?
Among the pantheon of pagan gods in their culture, the Pharaoh was not just Egypt’s king, he was considered the highest of all their gods.
Who would dare to suggest that someone other than Pharaoh is worthy of worship? Meriam Webster says: “The word ‘worship’ comes from ‘worth ship’. To worship something is to prize it above everything else.”
If you were to take a magnifying glass into your life, what people or things do your find yourself prizing? Where are those things drawing you away from your relationship with God?
The things we “worship” become our idols. Our idols make slaves of us. Haven’t you seen it in your own life? No matter how we hard try to “please” our task masters, they never seem to be satisfied.
Our idols are evil tyrants. When we confront them, it will always cause disruption. They do not want to relinquish control over us. Rest assured; they will not give up easily. The bondage of evil doesn’t want to let us go. When they sense they are losing their hold on us, they try to punish us and shame us for turning our trust to the One and Only God.
But also, be assured of this - God is still at work. Even when things seem to be getting worse, God is ALWAYS at work. Even when we can't see it.
He is working to refine us.
He shows us that when we turn to other people or things without turning to him, we will always be disappointed. He creates in us a holy thirst for the rescue and redemption that ONLY he can bring about. And in the process, he will reveal who he truly is – the One who alone is the Highest of all Gods.
Jesus came to earth and evil pulled out all the stops to defeat him!
Satan tempted him in the wilderness. The religious elite hated him. The people rejected him. They made him suffer the most cruel and agonizing death of crucifixion. Yet, he never lost sight of his Father’s mission, to rescue us all from the bondage of sin forever.
Jesus knew the end of the story! He would be victorious! Because he loves us, he offers us a place in his victorious Kingdom.
We struggle, Lord. We often turn our hearts to prizing other things above you. Our idols consume us, take control of our lives and we feel helpless to escape. When we cry out to you in anguish, sometimes it seems like things only get worse. Please show us where you are working. Remind us YOU alone are One who has paid our ransom. You alone can free us from our bondage. Help us hold unswervingly to the sure hope that your love has secured for us overwhelming victory through Jesus Christ our Savior! Even when we cannot see it.