What’s Your Story?
“. . . Go and return to Egypt . . .” Exodus 4:19
Israel had a story, they were a people who were hated, a people discriminated against, a people in slavery and their story included silence from God, a lot of it. A sense that God had abandoned them.
Israel’s story begins with the Israelites at the lowest point. They were slaves in Egypt churning out bricks for Pharaoh’s elaborate building projects. Egypt was the only reality they ever knew. They had lived in this sad, but safe, state for hundreds of years.
Gone were the days of their hero, Joseph, and the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It seemed that Israel was on the losing side; all odds were against them. But God had not forgotten them.
A shift in the story was about to take place – one that would bring everything into perspective. Moses, God’s representative, through a series of confrontations with Pharaoh, revealed there was to be a new reality for them. Moses also spoke on God’s behalf to Israel, “the Egyptians, who you see today, you will never see again.” Then he stretched his staff over the sea. In a moment, the power that once had held them captive was overturned by God’s greater power. A new faith, identity and confidence for Israel broke forth.
What is true for Israel is true for us – once we were held captive, but God stepped in, doing for us what we could never do for ourselves. He gave us a new story.
The new story is not fantasy. God doesn’t make believe everything is better. But where the old story isolated us from hope, the new story begins with God personally entering into life with all its imperfections, difficulty, struggles and disappointments. Going to work patiently, making the broken whole, healing the hurt by forgiving, loving, changing life according to the new story.
What story are you living? The old one filled with detours and defeats, or the new one which still has its struggles and strains, but one that’s accompanied by redemption and hope?
On the front of a fresh year, take a deep breath and ask God to step into your story and begin a rewrite.