Thursday, October 24, 2013

Desert Cries Part 1: The Exodus of Shame

When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.
Exodus 2:15

In Exodus 2, we learn that Moses’ first trip to the desert was not a groovy vacay, but a means to stay alive.  Pharaoh had a price on his head.  While he had been raised predominately as a prince in the palace, one rash decision changed his entire life. 

He had undoubtedly seen the mistreatment of Hebrew slaves before, but the witnessing of a fellow descendant being beaten on that fateful day was enough.  Anger consumed him, and he killed the offending Egyptian.  His plans to cover up the crime (literally) had been thwarted by witnesses.  Word spread.  He knew this damaged his reputation with both Egypt and his biological line.  In spite of his intent to come to the aid of those oppressed, he had just made their lives harder.  No longer an adopted child of privilege and not accepted by his fellow Israelites, he ran to a place where no one knew him. 

I don’t know about you, but nothing sends panic through me quite like knowing I’ve botched something up badly, and it seems extremely difficult, if not impossible, to repair.  From reckless spending in the name of “cash back rewards” to thoughtless, impulsive words that sever a relationship, I’ve done my share of screwing up.  The moment I begin to realize the magnitude of my actions, the pit in my stomach becomes a gaping hole of fear.  Frantic, shame-laden thoughts swirl through my mind, robbing me of sleep and appetite.  Unable to continue in this maddening state of “if only,” the goal of escaping becomes my number one priority.

When Moses fled to the desert, he truly thought no one would know him there, but he forgot something, or rather Someone.  While in hiding, God kept him safe, brought caring people into his life and, when the time was right, God addressed Moses regarding his purpose. 

Hiding is not new to God.  Adam and Eve did it.  Jonah did it.  I am no surprise to Him.  When I run from responsibilities, relationships or even from God Himself, He does not leave me.  He provides me with material needs, emotional support and, when I am ready to stop running and face my problems, he forgives me, loves me and reminds me of my calling. 

Shame is powerful.  Shame is crippling.  Shame is not God’s will for my life.  Satan knows that the longer he can keep me in a cycle of justification, guilt and self-loathing, the harder it becomes for me to approach the Throne of Grace. 

It’s not easy to come out of the desert and face your past.  God’s forgiveness does not remove all natural consequences.  Healing and moving forward is not instantaneous.  It wasn’t for Moses, either.  But the Same God who did a mighty work in a quick-tempered, conflict-avoiding and anxious dude wants to do the same in us.  He will meet us in our place of guilt and shame, and more importantly, will guide us to a place of restoration and healing, if only we let him.   

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About Me

I'm not your average housewife; but then, neither is any other housewife I've met! My life is a constant blur of kids, animals, hunting down and testing allergy-friendly recipes, shopping, LOTS of coffee, yarn crafting, nannying, singing and writing. I married my highschool sweetheart (the introvert who is a type-A, shy, organized, loves hunting, hiking and mountain climbing. He lives for pizza, burgers and cookies and doesn't like coffee). We are polar opposites, but Love, grace and a whole lotta Jesus can overcome anything! :) We have two boys who fill this house with lots of excitement, love, laughter and lunacy! Alan (9) is a happy-go-lucky, inventive, dramatic, eager-to-please kid who loves being dad's shadow and mom's shopping companion. He's the snuggliest kid I've ever met! Wyatt is extremely bright, inquisitive, entertaining and endearing. He lives for routine, Wii games, pixar films and writing stories. Alan is typically-developing, Wyatt has high-functioning autism. We live on an acre in the Pacific Northwest with our two aussies and 5 chickens. It's not the Waltons, but it works! :)