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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

So that...

I have been reading in Exodus for a while, and really trying to take the time to study it out.
I like to pick things apart.
Especially when it's parts of the Bible I am particularly familiar with.
I came to the portion of the story where it talks about God hardening Pharaoh's heart.
The whole idea of this has always kind of confused me, but part of a particular verse stood out to me this time that absolutely blew my mind...in a totally obvious kind of way.

Exodus chapter 8 gave me two words that pretty much sum up life.

So that.

Here's the background:
Pharaoh has been keeping the Children of Israel as slaves and treating them totally awful. He refuses to let them leave his country and is downright rude about it.
God is telling Moses what to say to Pharaoh to make him let them go.
He tells Moses to tell Pharaoh some specific things He will do if he doesn't let them go, and then he says why...

So that you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land.

Look over at chapter 11 verse 9 and God tells Moses:
Listen. Pharaoh is not going to listen to you.
In fact he words it..He will refuse to listen to you. But then he gives the reason:

So that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.
Do you get this?

It is not about you!

This story in Exodus was not about Pharaoh. It actually was not about Moses.
And really? It was not even really about the Children of Israel.
This story was about God's ultimate plan.
The plan that God has had in place before the beginning of time.
This plan to show His power.
To show His grace.
To show His redeeming love.
He was simply using the situation in front of Him to showcase His glory.
But do you think Moses or the Children of Israel felt that way?
They were being beaten, and treated totally unfairly. They could have easily questioned God, doubted God and even forsaken Him.
They needed to see the bigger picture.

And it is so the same in our lives.
Are you in the middle of something that makes you feel like, Come on God?!
You can fix this.
You can provide that.
You can heal her.
You can save him.
And you would be right.
He certainly can.

But God is gently saying to you...It is not about you.
God may have you waiting, so that someone in an entirely different place can see His power.
So that someone else can be changed.

It is not about about you.

This past weekend I had the privilege of spending time with some of my favorite people in the world.
I stayed at an incredibly gorgeous beach house on Long Beach Island in New Jersey, with some amazing women.
These are women who are totally on the same page in life with me.
They are photographers. But they are first and foremost servants of God.
I was so refreshed, blessed and encouraged by these friendships that God has given me.
We stayed up late, had some seriously deep conversations, and then had silly, unimportant conversations.
It was relaxing and totally energizing.
The last morning we were there, we sat around in the living room.
We watched and listened as the waves came crashing into the shore, and we sang together.
We sang songs that reminded us what life is all about.
At the end of the day, our businesses (which we love and want to excel in) are not our first priority.
Our first priority is our relationship with Jesus...our foundation.
It's what gives us the energy to keep working and improving in our families, in our friendships and in our businesses.

I am so thankful for those friendships.
(Honestly. Angie, Beth, Joni and Tara. You girls are good for my soul!)
I am so thankful for the amazing creation of God I saw on display this weekend.
I am so thankful for being around people who understand that God may be using a painful situation in my own life...
so that someone else can be affected.

So the next time you hear the words so that, remember..

It is not about you.

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