Exodus 6-11

Moses does go to Egypt, staff in hand, and confronts Pharaoh.  He throws the staff down and it becomes a snake but Pharaoh’s magicians can do the same trick.  He holds the staff over the Nile and the water turns to blood. Plague 1.  Pharaoh does not repent.  Moses has Aaron, his brother holds out the staff and frogs cover the land.  Plague 2.  Pharaoh does not repent.  Aaron uses the staff to strike the dust and gnats cover Egypt. Plague 3.  Pharaoh does not change.  10 plagues ruin Egypt before Pharaoh lets the Israelites go.        

         Moses saw a burning bush that was not consumed.  Moses carried a staff that could become a snake and when combined with God’s word brought plagues.  I wonder if Moses did not struggle with doubt and   discouragement?  Sometimes we do everything we think God has requested of us and life does not get better.  The miracle does not happen.  For all the times we forgive that wayward child, the child still turns a back to us.  For all the prayers for healing, the cancer grows.  For all the forgiveness we offer, the spouse walks away.  That does not even touch situations like war, famine and politics.  Bad things happen to good people and life is unfair.  That does not mean God is not at work.

         Moses does not give up during these plagues.  He does not throw his staff away or look for a shinier one.  He does not stop talking to God. We know the ending to that part of the story but Moses does not.  We do not know the ending to our story.  Like a tree that looks pretty much the same from same from day to day, often the situations we are immersed in feel like a slow growing tree.

         Today you may be facing a problem that just is not resolving. Maybe using the image of the tree can stimulate some prayers for how to water the situation, how to add a bit of manure, or how to trim.  Think creatively but never doubt that God is working through ordinary people like us and with ordinary tools like a staff.  Blessings.

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