Don’t normal Christians pray that God will make their way smooth, especially as we seek to do His work? Would it ever enter our minds to expect our loving Father to deliberately make our way rough? But biblically, that’s exactly what He sometime does in the lives of His dear ones. And He does it for magnificent purposes.
For example, recently I have been reading the Exodus volume of Nancy Ganz’s stirring Old Testament commentary for children, “Herein is Love”. Chapter 8 is entitled: “The Way Made Rough for Moses”! The chapter relates the incident in Exodus 5 concerning Pharaoh’s reaction when Moses first goes before him to plead for his people. Imagine the high Moses must have been on after he first met with the Jewish elders and described God’s plan to redeem his people. Wonder of wonders, the people believed him. They were actually behind Moses’ leadership! They were humbled and worshiping God! Then Moses goes to Pharaoh in faith, doing exactly what God tells him to do. He says, “God says, ‘Let my people go!” But what happens? Pharaoh not only does not let the people go, but he devises a shrewd plan to make the people hate Moses. He enacts harsh reprisals against the people, which make their lives so bitter that they lose faith, blame Moses and accuse him of putting the sword in Pharaoh’s hand to kill them. Instead of making Moses’ way smooth, God has made it rough! What can God be doing?
God tells us. First Moses cries to the Lord, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all!”
Then God responds, reminding Moses that He had warned him their release wouldn’t come easily. He had told him “But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.” He assures Moses that he has heard their groaning and remembered His covenant. He will deliver them. They will be His people. He will be their God. But through a temporary worsening of their suffering, the ultimate outcome will be sweeter than they could ever imagine. God has magnificent things in store—things like passover, the exodus and the destruction of their enemies at the Red Sea—things that will cause Moses, the Israelites, Pharaoh and all the nations to have the opportunity to see Him as He is: glorious and holy, yet amazingly gracious to those under the blood.
This encourages me so much during these days when my own way has been made rough. Having expected to leave California on May 19th to head back to Romania and ministry with Tim, I find myself alone, still in California, 5 days away from a bladder biopsy. It’s hard. A lot of uncertainty has been piled on my plate. But with it a chance to see more of the glory of God, to wait upon Him, fellowship with Him and know more of His grace. So please pray for us in the coming days.
For Tim for supernatural strength, as he must do a lot more than he normally does, without my companionship and help.
For the gaps left by my absence in children’s ministry and mercy outreach (and even muffin ministry :-)) to somehow be filled until I am able to return.
For the biopsy/surgery to go well on Thursday, June 3, for an accurate diagnosis, quick recovery and the best possible treatment for my unremitting pain as well as all to be accomplished by June 15th, my new return date.
For provision of any extra needs during this time and spiritual encouragement daily for all of us affected by the circumstances.
For Romania to seek God as the economic hardships worsen and for the message of the Gospel to find hungry hearts.
For protection and encouragement of the other believers serving God in Valcea, especially Australian missionary Suzy who has been admitted to the hospital with severe Asthma and Daniela who has been feeling miserable with headaches, fatigue and nausea.
Thanks so much for your love and prayers, Tim and Krista Hahne