Exodus 1:13 NLT
So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy.
In all honesty, there were times during what I call my period of captivity, when I completely unravelled and lost the plot. This ‘captivity’ were those years following Katey’s death when no matter what I did I couldn’t break out of the confines of the space I occupied. I arrogantly assumed that with the loss of my caring responsibilities, the Christian world would welcome me back into ministry. It didn’t work that way, and I took umbrage.
Strange how when things go wrong we hit out and blame everyone and everything around us. Yet, we are never subject ourselves either to close examination or criticism. It was learning to remove the log from my own eye that became so important; and discerning there was a log there at all was the work of years. I’m sure Israel learned to hate their Egyptian overlords. Yet, they embraced their servitude and fulfilled their responsibilities so well that Pharaoh had to increase the pressure in an attempt to destroy them. They were, in fact, destroying themselves by becoming captive to their captivity.
It didn’t take me long to become resentful at my apparent captivity, highly critical of others, negative when in company, altogether the victim who developed an entitlement mentality. In any captivity, only God can lead us to freedom. For us Jesus is the new Moses, who breaks us out of prison. Yet, the price of freedom is being forced to learn to live in an entirely different way within a completely new context. Israel complained frequently, and so did I. It has taken years of inching forward slowly, then falling back again as I have struggled to make sense of who God truly is and who I really am within unrewarding circumstances. I’ve courted captivity again on many an occasion, yet, thankfully, I’ve found an ability to return to God and crawl forward on the path he draws me along. Often feeling as if I face destruction as my only option, I choose to be destroyed by God ahead of my own addictions or obsessions.
QUESTION: How do you understand the nature of your captivity? Are there attitudes or activities that you know are slowly destroying you?
PRAYER: Liberating Lord, release me from the captivity of my own sinful and destructive thoughts and behaviours. Teach me the ways of the free.