Exodus 2: The Message
1-3 A man from the family of Levi married a Levite woman. The woman became pregnant and had a son. She saw there was something special about him and hid him. She hid him for three months. When she couldn’t hide him any longer she got a little basket-boat made of papyrus, waterproofed it with tar and pitch, and placed the child in it. Then she set it afloat in the reeds at the edge of the Nile.
4-6 The baby’s older sister found herself a vantage point a little way off and watched to see what would happen to him. Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the Nile to bathe; her maidens strolled on the bank. She saw the basket-boat floating in the reeds and sent her maid to get it. She opened it and saw the child—a baby crying! Her heart went out to him. She said, “This must be one of the Hebrew babies.”
7 Then his sister was before her: “Do you want me to go and get a nursing mother from the Hebrews so she can nurse the baby for you?”
8 Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Yes. Go.” The girl went and called the child’s mother.
As I was running yesterday, the story of baby Moses came to me as I looked upon a pond sheltered by reeds swaying in the wind. It made me think of how my Mum had, like Moses’ Mum, released us, her children, to her Heavenly Father’s care, trusting that He would provide for us in her absence. I still remember the pain in her eyes, and yet simultaneously the peace that clothed her, as she lay dying.
Reading the story of Moses makes me wonder at this mother, the courage and strength it took to release her precious baby boy, not knowing for sure if the water would not take him, or the swords of men. And it makes me wonder what prayers left her lips as she waterproofed the basket, preparing it for its special cargo. Letting go and yet trusting. Fearful and yet confident. Aching and yet leaning into His Comfort. Isn’t this the epitome of faith: belief that holds together in a dichotomy of stretching polar opposites?
In Miriam, the older sister whose heart ached and feared for her little brother, I see myself as a girl. And yet, Miriam, like Esther, was made for such a time as this. God directed her to be present at the moment He would release His powerful grace. As a child, I felt this same grace pulled back from me, as I remained powerless to protect. And yet now, I am seeing the grace as having been multiplied in the painful waiting.
As a child I remember talking to an older friend, who I babysat for, who told me she wished she’d grown up protected in faith, instead of having to go through abuse and utter despair as a small child far from God. I distinctly recall thinking that I wished I had known a life absent of God, a life of pain and suffering, so that my faith would be deeper, so that I could fully grasp His Love and Grace in my life. I yearned for the faith rooted deeply within her.
Now, I look back and see how my faith has been deepened in exactly the way I naively wished for as a child. It is in the midst of extreme suffering, as I watched my mother’s body be ravaged by cancer that I saw and experienced the love of God in the most powerful and palpable way. And it is in the clutches of PTSD that He showed me the life, hope, truth and love that was being held out to me, beckoning me into His Loving outstretched arms. And in letting go, releasing the guilt, the responsibility to protect, the anger, the fear, the hurt…and falling into His arms, His grace met me in a powerful way.
And in running yesterday, I see Him asking me again to let go, to let go of my guilt, fear, hurt, need to protect…and release it all into His arms, trusting like the mother of Moses and my own Mum that God will provide, as I do so. And like Miriam, He will place me where I need to be, He will open my eyes to act in the moments He has destined me for. But in the meantime I must release and trust Him.
Zephaniah 3: 16 – 20
Jerusalem will be told:
“Don’t be afraid.
Your God is present among you,
a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love
and delight you with his songs.
18-20 “The accumulated sorrows of your exile
I, your God, will get rid of them for you.
You’ve carried those burdens long enough.
At the same time, I’ll get rid of all those
who’ve made your life miserable.
I’ll heal the maimed;
I’ll bring home the homeless.
In the very countries where they were hated
they will be venerated.
On Judgment Day
I’ll bring you back home—a great family gathering!
You’ll be famous and honored
all over the world.
You’ll see it with your own eyes—
all those painful partings turned into reunions!”
Have you too been struggling to let go, to fully surrender? Come sing From Dawn to Dusk (All Sons and Daughters) with me, declaring that today’s surrender will be tomorrow’s freedom.