If Change Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It
Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: “Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians”? Exodus 14:12
Most of us know the frustration of trying to change. The enthusiasm at the thought of skinny, at the outset of a diet, fades by day two or three, as the hunger sets in and we are still not skinny. This is stupid. I quit. We are excited to learn a new instrument or language, until we realize what hard work it is. Though we want change and growth, when we realize the effort of getting there, we surrender to the old life.
In today’s passage, the Egyptians expressed this same sentiment. Though they had been slaves in Egypt, forced into hard labor, they found they did not enjoy freedom. Freedom was hard work. Once in the wilderness, being pursued by the Egyptians who wanted them back, the Israelites reminisced about their slavery. Why did we leave? We had it so good!
In the misery of the process of being set free, they longed once again, for captivity. Freedom was too hard, so they wanted to go back. This is why so few of us are truly able to change. As change is so difficult, most of us find we would rather just stay where we are. If change was easy, we would all do it. If growth was simple, we would all be perfectly kind, patient, joyful, faithful, and self-controlled.
It is only in the maturity of faith, that we can look beyond the hard work of change to see the joy that comes with transformation. Though the Israelites began to believe when they witnessed God’s deliverance from the Egyptians in the Red Sea, they quickly returned to grumbling, when freedom again became difficult.
If we want change, we must choose to endure the discomfort of change, looking forward to the joy of God’s transforming work. If we want to grow, we must always keep our eyes on God, following Him, even in the discomfort.