We have all been in situations where we call out to the Lord to help us in getting out of the dilemmas we have put ourselves in. It may be a job that is very stressful and we are asking God to give us another job. It could be a relationship that we are in and are wondering what to do next. We are looking for a savior to get us out of our entrapment. We are looking for an easy fix to move us to less stressful circumstances.
The last thing we are looking for is for the circumstances of our lives to get worse. We worship a holy God that wouldn’t allow us to go farther into troubled times would He. I’m asking these questions because in my daily reading of the bible, I came across a passage that made my mind go to this seemingly troubling thought, “Things often get worse before they get better.” It’s a story of God coming to Moses in the wilderness and calling him to go back to Egypt, the place he had run from after murdering an Egyptian soldier forty years earlier, to free the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. After being in the wilderness for 40 years, Moses had lost all his courage and confidence as a leader for change and had placed himself on a shelf of “not being able to be used for God”. If you had murdered someone could you find yourself in a similar situation. When we make mistakes that are found out by others, it is easy to place ourselves on that shelf because of feeling that God couldn’t use a broken vessel like that.
Fortunately God is in the vessel repairing business as he wanted to use Moses. But listen to the call God gives to Moses. “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. (Exodus 4:21 NIV) God is calling for Moses to go back, but he is saying that Pharaoh will not listen to him and things will get worse for the people before they get better. After this call by God, Moses and his wife had a heated argument and they split–she went back to her father and Moses went to Egypt. After reading further along in this story, it did in fact get worse for the Israelites. They had been making bricks for the Egyptians and the Egyptians were furnishing straw. After Moses came, they had to go and get straw and still keep up their quote for bricks daily. It became worse for them before it became better.
Habakkuk is a prophet in the Old Testament who was experiencing difficulties and cried out to the Lord. God answered him by saying that things were going to get worse before they got better. It doesn’t make sense that if we want God’s help, things oftentimes will get worse before they get better. Unless you put this perspective with what James 1:2-4 where James says for us to consider it joy when we encounter various trials in our lives. Trials are specifically designed by God to build our faith and produce endurance in our lives. It is in the difficulties of life that our dependence on God is molded and purified.
So on this journey, it is good to note that the circumstances we find ourselves in will get worse before they get better, but God is there and will give us the way of escape if we continue to trust him.