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When All Seems Hopeless

When All Seems Hopeless

But the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out.” Exodus 6:1

Someone asked me recently how I got into addiction medicine. So, I told them about my life 10 years ago, when I was diverting opioids to support my own addiction. I explained how my life fell apart – My marriage was on the brink, I’d lost my job, I was on my way to treatment, and my career appeared to be over. I’d killed everything good in my life. That was the most hopeless I’ve ever felt.

Just earlier this month though, I learned that I passed my addiction medicine boards and am now certified as a specialist in Addiction Medicine. That certificate on my wall really changes very little about my life, but to me, it’s one more reminder of how far God has brought me in the last 10 years. I cannot emphasize that last phrase enough. My way was disaster. It was only in following God that I found new life. Back then though, it was almost impossible to see how God could make anything good from my mess. All I could see was destruction and despair. Still, I felt God promising me that life would be better if I followed his will. I figured it couldn’t get much worse, so I set out to follow, and that has made all the difference.

In today’s passage, Moses struggled to believe in God’s promise for the future. In the story, he’d gone to Pharaoh, attempting to free his people from slavery. Pharaoh said no and subsequently made life even harsher for the Israelites who then turned on Moses – Why have you done this to us? Moses felt betrayed by God who’d already promised to free his people. God again promised that he was going to do something miraculous – Just you wait and see what I can do. Pharaoh is going to be desperate to get you all out of Egypt. This was too much for Moses to accept. In his despair, he struggled to believe in God’s promises.

A lot of you have been – or are currently – here. Life sometimes seems hopeless. Some losses are permanent and sometimes life seems beyond fixing. At those moments we have a choice. We can follow our way, wallowing in despair. Or we can take our despair to God, asking what he wants us to do with it. He may not make life go the way we think it should, but his promise is that all things eventually work out for good for those who follow him (Romans 8:28). In our disaster, we can follow ourselves or God, and our daily choice will make all the difference.

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