Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
Exodus 5:10-23 (NRSV)
So the taskmasters and the supervisors of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ’I will not give you straw. Go and get straw yourselves, wherever you can find it; but your work will not be lessened in the least.’” So the people scattered throughout the land of Egypt, to gather stubble for straw. The taskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, the same daily assignment as when you were given straw.” And the supervisors of the Israelites, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and were asked, “Why did you not finish the required quantity of bricks yesterday and today, as you did before?”
Then the Israelite supervisors came to Pharaoh and cried, “Why do you treat your servants like this? No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ’Make bricks!’ Look how your servants are beaten! You are unjust to your own people.” He said, “You are lazy, lazy; that is why you say, ’Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.’ Go now, and work; for no straw shall be given you, but you shall still deliver the same number of bricks.” The Israelite supervisors saw that they were in trouble when they were told, “You shall not lessen your daily number of bricks.” As they left Pharaoh, they came upon Moses and Aaron who were waiting to meet them. They said to them, “The LORD look upon you and judge! You have brought us into bad odor with Pharaoh and his officials, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
Then Moses turned again to the LORD and said, “O LORD, why have you mistreated this people? Why did you ever send me? Since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people.”
Things were finally beginning to look up for the Israelites. They had an advocate, a man named Moses. One of their own who had just recently returned from exile, he went to the Israelites and told them about the great things God had instructed him to do and the promise God had given him. He was going to speak to Pharaoh, and they were all finally going to be freed.
However, when hope seemed at the highest for the Israelites, their situation became much, much worse. Pharaoh didn’t listen to their advocate, and their workload was drastically increased. God had promised, but it didn’t look like God’s promise was being fulfilled. Out of the despair and confusion, Moses did the only thing he could: He cried out to God, saying, “O LORD, why have you mistreated this people?”
Sometimes, our situation becomes so dire that we have nothing left to do but cry out to God. Even today, many people are still enslaved in their own Egypt. Whether they are crushed beneath an oppressive structure, trapped in an abusive relationship, or simply a slave to the dark, debilitating thoughts in their own minds, the reality of Egypt still exists for many people today. Not only do we feel trapped at times, but many people may feel like they recently have been asked to gather their own straw in addition to their normal daily stress.
When it seems like there is no choice but to cry out to God, cry out. Take comfort in knowing that our God’s heart beats and breaks with yours. The God of the universe hears your cry. Do not be afraid to shout out of your anger, your despair, or your confusion. When things are at their worst, cry out.
O God who meets us even in our darkest depths, hear my cry. Find me here in my darkness and remind me of your promise. Wrap me in your loving embrace and never let me go. Though I may be confused about your plans, though I may be in the midst of great suffering, remind me that I am loved without measure. Amen.
Go with God.