The story of the Israelites is one of Slavery, Wilderness and the Promised Land.
This triad features a kind of reality that is known and becomes comfortable after awhile in the beginning. This is the slavery in Egypt. It's not a reality that anyone would choose, but the pain is repeated often enough to provide a twisted kind of safety and predictability.
Then there is a major disruption that puts everything into disarray. The parting of the Red Sea signaled a breaking from the past and into a new reality. This new reality was wandering in a desert that was an in-between space. They weren't where they were going, but they definitely weren't where they had been.
The entering of the Promised Land features a new reality that was unimaginable in the previous stage. It's filled with hope that the sins of Egypt can be corrected in this new society. God's kingdom can come to Earth.
I'm interested in this cycle of 3 because I think it is instructive for the cycles in life that we see in our own stories. We have times where things feel stable and known. We feel comfortable moving and acting in this stage. And then we have a dramatic change that shifts everything. These times are usually marked by confusion, mourning and a fierce questioning of everything. The following stage is flooded with all the energy of a renewed purpose and direction. Things feel like the click into place again and we can start to gain some traction.
I believe that when we live in that Promised Land stage long enough we will create a new kind of slavery. Every revolution becomes an institution.
We start to create rules and structures to preserve this Promised Land and those structures take the Promise right out of the Land. It starts to morph into an unrecognizable reality because you can't ever create enough structures to keep time from moving along. Promised Lands are for periods of time, but they weren't meant to last forever. Time keeps march on.
And so the cycle needs to begin again.
We're going to be exploring this triad of life over the course of our new message series and hope to encourage one another to not fear or fall in love with any one of the stages. To be present to each and every one of them is to be present to how God is moving and working in our lives.