Randi Scott via CompfightThere is nothing quite like a good snow to halt the pace of life and give time for quiet contemplation. I live in the South, and my area is being blanketed with snow, sleet and freezing rain in unusual proportions. While reading in Exodus recently, I came across Exodus 11:10: “And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.”
We are such performance-based, results-oriented people. Each time Moses went before Pharaoh, in his humanity I am sure he wanted results, i.e., for his people to be allowed to leave Egypt. How many times we read that in response to God’s command, Moses “stretched forth his rod” and saw both miracles and plagues. The plagues were for the Egyptians; the miracles were for the children of Israel in that they were protected from the plagues. Surely Moses would have been justified in asking why it took so many plagues before Pharaoh begged for the Israelites to leave Egypt, but all we read is of Moses’ obedience to the command of God. I found it eye-opening in Exodus 11:9 where the Lord told Moses “Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you.” If I were in Moses’ shoes, I know what my reaction would be: “Why should I even try if there is no hope that I will be successful?” And then God told Moses why he was hardening Pharaoh’s heart: “that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” This information did not come to Moses until before the tenth judgment. And in a divinely-placed parenthetical moment, God instituted Passover, the clear picture of redemption. This message of redemption was the wonder that God wanted multiplied in the land of Egypt.
My thoughts turned to those I know serving on the mission field. One shared his frustrations in learning a new language – frustration because of his deep desire to share the message of redemption. Another friend has been on the field for many years, has reared a family there and is experiencing heartache with respect to one child in particular. Both of these are in situations where, like Moses, it is difficult to see God’s bigger picture. How will redemption be manifested in these situations? That remains to be seen, but we can have confidence that there is a higher purpose being played out. Like Moses, the challenge for these servants of God, and for us, is to respond in obedience and without question to the call of God on our lives.
There is redemption even in this beautiful snowfall. Families are indoors together where stronger bonds can be forged without the distraction of everyday life. People are staying off the roads and thus lives are being saved. Perhaps some are “redeeming the time” with extra prayer and Bible study. While there are aspects of this snow that are disruptive and even dangerous – we may lose power – there is no doubt that God’s redemptive purposes, his bigger picture is being played out as he continues to demonstrate his sovereignty and grace.
The Lord be praised!