The Lord God said, “I have witnessed your affliction my people and have heard your cries of complaint against your oppressors, so I know well what you are suffering. Therefore, I have initiated an extraordinary Divine intervention, to rescue you from your oppressors; leading you out of the land of slavery into a good and gracious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Exodus 3: 7-8
Our own Burning Bush
In the coming week, you will be invited to reflect on the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt and their journey into the desert, in search for the “promised land.” In this reflection, we are reminded of our own invitation to exodus. As much as God’s words to the Israelites invited them to leave behind a life of slavery, so too are these God’s words for us TODAY as we suffer under the oppression of our own inner slavery. In this case, the oppression God is inviting us to escape is the slavery of fear and the specific ways in which fear has come to rule our lives. Fear imprisons us in the constant worry about how our needs are going to be met, compelling us into a relentless search for “that thing” outside of us that will make us happy – money, power, sex, fame, material possessions, love, etc. Fear makes us question our value or place in this world. Fear causes us to believe we cannot be the person we want to be/ the person God made us to be. Fear causes us to believe ourselves unworthy of love. Fear compels us to silence our voice – afraid that we will not be heard. Fear tells us we can’t possibly know God’s desires for our lives. And fear tells us that we are alone – or that we have to do it alone.
Leaving Behind Our Slavery
If we truly want to be freed of the fears that currently rule our lives, if we want to experience the freedom that God intends for us, we first need to say yes to the call. Like the Israelites, we have to take that first LEAP OF FAITH, laying down the chains that bind us and take that first step toward the promised land. And, like the Israelites, we will be tested. Moving from slavery into freedom is NOT EASY. We have to confront our fears and find effective tools for helping us move through these fears so that we can truly be free. As we diligently tend to our fears, we eventually learn that there is nothing “out there” that will satisfy the inner restlessness, longing and anxiousness that we feel, but that God alone is the satisfaction to our fear. When we turn toward God, our anxieties are calmed, and we are freed from the chains that hold us bound to the perceived security of “what we know.”
As you work with this week’s meditation practices and participate in this week’s Virtual Church Service, reflect on the power that fear holds in your own life. What is the slavery you are being invited to escape? What is the promised land you are being invited to discover? How and in what way are you being invited to find your own inner freedom?