Faith is recognizing there are two sides to every story.

My desire to read the entire bible, every word, cover to cover has me on a new journey. Sometimes sitting and reading can be difficult with my schedule so I listen as this handy app I have reads to me. This week I find myself in Exodus. I’ve read this story, studied it, told it to three year olds, and watched the classic movie many times. Listening to it has given me new insight. Here’s my top three from Moses this week.

1. This place I’m in is just a camping ground, a part of the journey.  If you back up before Moses moves into the picture you see why God’s people are slaves in Egypt. Its the story of Joseph. Through him God saved His people from the famine and brought them to a new land. Moving to Egypt meant survival and Joseph made it happen. Joseph saved Egypt and his people. He was famous, the closest person to Pharoah. As long as there was someone to remember this, all was well. But, years went by… people died… Pharoahs changed and Joseph was forgotten. Once this happened the Egyptians enslaved God’s people. Like slaves in a foreign land, I need to remember where I’m going. Whatever circumstance I face, good or bad, is not the end. Time keeps marching on, memories fade, all to keep me moving towards home.

2. God never breaks a promise. Almost twenty years ago, before we expanded the square footage of this house, we sat quiet on the sofa. The oldest was four, the middle a few months old, and we sat considering this fork in the road. In the short term one direction would solve a lot of issues… the other would be much more difficult. I sensed God’s leading, heard Him promise us His way was best, and somehow got the courage to speak it out loud. I’m not sure why my hubby believed me that day, but the relief of making a decision fell on us as we determined to take the difficult path. This work my husband does is quite the roller coaster, and honestly its been on a down hill turn for a while. I’m sure the Israelite slaves must have felt the same way. God’s promise to Abraham was made hundreds of years ago. Maybe He changed His mind… maybe He forgot… maybe it was all just a good story. There in the desert a burning bush speaks to the homicidal shepherd and reminds him of the promise. It is so easy to forget what God promises when you’re stuck in the muck of a season. You consider all the choices, wonder about your decisions and somehow in the midst of all the clamoring you have this burning bush moment. Right there in the kitchen’s morning light over pouring coffee into my mug I hear… circumstances never change the promises I’ve made to you. Well there you go! Throw your hands up and yell praise because God never breaks a promise and He’s not about to start now.

3. Praying moves God to action.  There at the burning bush Moses and God have a talk. Twice God explains He has heard the cry of His people. Have you ever thought about it as you read this? We see it from this side understanding the entire story. Moses and the people didn’t. They were miserable and it drove them to pray. God came up with a deliverance plan and set it into action. From the beginning things just got worse for everyone. I may can tell the entire story of the plagues in fifteen minutes but my friend recently told me it took around 18 months. Sometimes we imagine this story as a nice little sitcom all wrapped up with a happy ending in thirty minutes but that’s not the way it happened. It is not the way it happens with us either.

Like the slaves I find myself praying. Some things I’ve been praying for years… decades even. There are times I think those areas I’m praying for might just be getting worse. I’ve gotten frustrated when there seems to be no change. I’ve wanted to throw my hands up and walk away in defeat. It would have been nice to have the answers sooner rather than later, but I’m more like the Israelite slaves. I can only see from this side of the story.

Its Monday morning… my favorite morning of the week. Yes, I’m just a bit weird when it comes to Mondays. And I’d be lying if I said this morning went smooth. Mornings just aren’t that way when teen boys lay in bed longer than they should and everyone leaves a bit frustrated. Still its Monday. The beginning of a week all wrapped in potential and possibility. Who knows what God might just do by Friday. What action He is taking because of the prayers of His people. There may be a few more plagues to come before we cross the Red Sea. This life might just reek of dead frogs and drive us crazy with flying gnats. Sometimes we find ourselves falling short of our quota and wondering if anyone’s listening up there.

He is… listening. He is moving and active. We don’t always get it when we’re stuck right in the middle of an unfolding story, but we will. One day we will. There’s a lot of truth in the old saying…

There’s two sides to every story.

One side we see, the other we don’t. Faith is living in one and trusting that the other side is planned to perfection by a God who never breaks His promise and is always leading us home.

Want to read the story of Moses for yourself. Just click on the link below.

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