So, the day is dawning that I knew was coming. But it still came with a jolt. Don's job is ending in June. He turns 70 in May. Our net income will drop over 25%. All three of those things are big. Nothing too fun about getting older or "poorer".
I find that as long as I continue to read the Bible and books on spirituality, and talk with fellow Christians, God continues to reveal Himself to me and reveal myself to myself. Mostly Don and I have been happy about our choices of working part-time over the last 25 years. In an age where it seems like "everyone" says you need two incomes to live, we have defied that and thrived. We are soon to start the "how much money do you need to retire" phase of life. What is going to happen to us now? Will we just survive, which I am sure of, or will we thrive, which I am not sure of? Enter the scripture reading for the week from Exodus and Matthew.
In Exodus 1 human fear and the fear of God are on display.
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
It doesn't take too much of a leap from the text to realize that the new king feared what would happen if the Israelites, who outnumbered the Egyptians, joined up with enemies of Egypt. Out of that fear, the new king (Pharaoh) decreed that the midwives were to kill the male children born to the Israelites.
Fear can sometimes lead one to do desperate things, even sinful things. As Don and I begin this new unknown, are we going to press into it with fear? Are we going to lose sleep over it and frantically try to figure out a solution?
Compare Pharoah's fear and knee-jerk and tragic response to his fear with the response of the midwives. The text says that they feared the Lord and did not do as they were commanded. They could have been killed for not obeying. Instead they lied about the reason the Hebrew baby boys were living. And what did God do for the midwives for their God-fearing obedience, which also involved lying? He blessed them by opening their barren wombs.
Will Don and I trust God in our new circumstances-circumstances which are a direct result of choices we made a quarter of a century ago? Will we believe God? Will we believe verses like "Do not fret, it only causes harm?" Or, this section of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew:
In Exodus 2 God is shown not only to be a saviour but a super saviour.
When we think of the story of baby Moses most minds go to the idea that Moses was saved by someone as he floated down the Nile River in a basket. That in itself is a miracle because so many of the baby boys were being killed off at the decree of Pharoah. But there are many more providences in this story. Not only did God save Moses by having him plucked from the water, he upped that miracle big time. All of these actions came into play: Moses mother was able to hide her baby for months. When he could not longer be hidden she was able to make a water-tight compartment, place the baby in it so it could float down the river. She had to know it might tip over. She was able to send her daughter to keep an eye on the basket. Of all the people bathing in the river, the Pharoah's daughter was the one to find the basket. Upon seeing that the baby was a Hebrew baby she could have just drowned him right there as I'm sure her father would have wanted her to do. No, instead she took pity on him. Moses' sister had the presence of mind to suggest finding a Hebrew mother to nurse him. I'm sure there were some Egyptian women the Pharoah's daughter knew who could have served as a wetnurse. Moses' own mother got to raise him at least until he was weaned and then Moses got to be raised in affluence. Lots of amazing circumstances all coming together at one time, wouldn't you say?
So, how should Don and I respond to any anxiety at this time? If a story containing so many amazing providences don't speak to us in our current need, what will?
In Matthew 8 and 9 people respond to Jesus and His power in two diametrically opposed ways.