The sun sank down over the gulf and I could not quit smiling. Feeling life and love pour over me was bringing such joy that I almost wept with gratitude. I was sitting on the beach thinking about God keeping his promises.
Exodus 6 tells of God talking with Moses and saying that now is the time that he wants to free the Israelites from the 400+ years of slavery that they have endured. He wants to be their God and they be his beloved people. God tells Moses to go tell the captives what HE has said. THIS IS THE BEST NEWS! However, v. 9 of Exodus 6 says this,
“Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.”
I felt a punch in the gut.
I rubbed my eyes and said, “Wait! Did I read that wrong?”
I reread the passage and just sat in silence. The familiar moving of the Holy Spirit was happening. Logos explained “broken spirit” like this:
“it was the inward pressure caused by deep anguish that prevented proper breathing—like children sobbing and gasping for their breath”
Let that settle.
I thought it sounded like a panic attack.
The captives were about to be freed!! After years and years of pain, heartache, silence, wondering when the suffering would end, no glimmer of hope, and FINALLY news of hope comes and they could not even hear it. Why? “because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.”
Being the one in captivity during seasons of life where it is difficult to hear God even if what he is telling you is good news is frightening.
When the internal anguish is great the struggle to receive hope can be elusive – to the point of the promises being what we might say as “too good to be true.”
Are you crying so much about your life and disappointments that the thought of having hope feels terrifying?
Have you believed that hope teases you? Hope does not tease. As my friend tells me, “Timing is what throws you off.” Not hope.
A lot of energy is wasted by ignoring what is going on inside. In the circles I move in many cover it up with spiritual talk, doing “more ministry” and dodging questions that get to the heart. It’s not considered “spiritual” to talk about emotions. Tell that to the Israelites.
I continue to have to acknowledge how I am like that child sobbing and gasping for breath before I can actually begin to calm, breath again and HEAR.
Hearing and receiving can bring even a twinge of Hope that can speak to the gasping for air places in our life and calm us like a child in need of comfort.
And get this…even though the Israelites could not receive the good news Moses shared, it did not stop God from rescuing them.