Plagues Before Miracles, Years Before Redemption
Written by Shiney Miracula on 20-06-2020
Plagues Before Miracles, Years Before Redemption: How to survive the vagueness of waiting?
What comes to your mind when you hear the word, miracles? Wedding at Cana, awakening of Lazarus from death, multiplying the food for a multitude or something else? What is common in every case just before the miracle happens? Well, a conflict gets complicated and reaches a stage beyond repair logically and when the subjects going through the difficulty turn their hope towards God and he does miracles according to his will.
Now, let’s meditate on an Old Testament miracle which aligns a lot with our current situation. Israelites faced a lot of near dead-end experiences before they actually could get a glimpse of the Promised Land. Which one of the challenges they faced is bigger – witnessing terrifying plagues, escaping via Dead Sea or wandering the desert for 40 years?
In my opinion, the forty years could have been a lot tougher than the former ones because this phase lacks action and demands patience in a period of uncertainty. God caused plagues only for Egyptians and that initiated their release from the place of their bondage. When the army pursued from behind, when their chances of escape appeared bleak, God divided the Red Sea, which sure would have been one spectacle of grandeur and rescued them. But what happens after that?
The forty years wandering was even more devastating because no one knew from the beginning that it was going to be 40 years in the desert. It must have looked like they are doomed on the face of a distant desert that their desperation and depression is obviously revealed as some people start to complain that they had a decent livelihood as slaves compared to their current nomadic state.
The joy of liberation wears off soon as soon as they do not get a comfortable settlement of life. They begin to lament that they were happy in Egypt washing the vessels in which they used to cook meat and that they miss their slave portion of leeks and onions.
No one could keep his or her peace within. Moses hit the rock when God wanted him to speak to it. The people lost hope and it brings a situation for them to create an image of a bull to worship when Moses went out of sight. Moses broke the commandments to bash down the bull. God sends manna, the heavenly food, which loses its charm when it becomes a part of routine. People start to murmur and yearn for meat. There are a lot of instances of disobedience among people and the punishment they received for it which includes the death of many. So, the remnant of the lot could have survived with faith or fear.
If you view this historical exodus of our ancestors psychoanalytically, moments of despair, hopelessness, depression, mental deterioration due to long periods of waiting with a fight to survival will be conspicuous in many areas. So, what counts in the end? Staying along complaining, believing in God but still not exercising control over self or complete faith in God that he can stop the sun for you when you place your unconditional trust in him.
The complaining people lost their lives before their battle began because they could not orient themselves and see what lies beyond this phase of nothingness. Moses believed in God and made history by breaking the bondage of Israelites but he lost the opportunity to enter the Promised Land for disobeying God in a moment of anger. What made Joshua the chosen one to lead Israelites into the land of milk and honey? He made the absolute surrender towards God. He listened to the word of God and placed it as a top priority. He had faith enough to stop the sun to win the Battle of Canaan with God by his side.
That is what God expects us to do now. COVID19 is a new virus, which baffles the intelligence of scientists. Our loved ones are in quarantine, isolation or in hospitals taking treatment. The cure is not near and the world is enveloped with fear. As we face stress and anxiety with our restricted lifestyle let’s spare a moment to think about the people who died. We understood the seriousness of the disease with their deaths. Pray for the doctors and frontline healthcare workers. If you are bored and anxious staying home or miss going out, remember that you are not alone. Nurture positive thoughts and use this time to pursue your creative potential – write a story, paint a picture or anything, which de-stresses you.
The things we cannot control are the ones that put a check on our mental health. Spiritual exploration can help relieve the inexplicable fear, sense of doom and the threat of imminent danger. We have no idea how long it will take to defeat the virus and the world to return to normalcy but keep in memory the long struggle of the Israelites to reach their promised land. What did the survived ones do? They trusted God.