Hindsight is a great leveller.

“When the four hundred years were nearly up, the time God promised Abraham for deliverance, the population of our people in Egypt had become very large. And there was now a king over Egypt who had never heard of Joseph. He exploited our race mercilessly. He went so far as forcing us to abandon our newborn infants, exposing them to the elements to die a cruel death. …” Acts 7:17-19 (The Message) 

Over the four hundred years the Hebrews were in Egypt, during the generations that endured such cruelty, God’s promise to Abraham wasn’t known! The writting of the narrative, as received by the Jewish people as Scripture, happened during Moses’ lifetime. It is likely that this story was maintained as oral tradition but not as common knowledge. So, few people would have had the hope of freedom from slavery and most would have bemoaned their lot wondering where God was in their suffering.

The fact that we have mystery in the plan of God that isn’t seen until the appropriate time is hard but is a good thing. If we simply knew what time and when God would step in, and every detail of the outcome, then that would stop us truly living. Life is about accepting the challenges and experiencing the diversity of good and bad that make-up its tapestry. I know that some people, Christian and non, are quick to blame God for any and every difficulty they face, or grief that besets them. This is not faith though, and faith isn’t faith until it is all you are holding on to. Faith in the goodness of God sometimes has to ride in the face of what is seen and trust inwardly in the mystery of what is not yet known.

So, may we hold to the mystery and have faith in the goodness of God despite a world that sometimes crushes in seeking to contradict our faith, and may we see the goodness of God in the land of the living. Amen.

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