Where Do I Find Life?

Where Do I Find Life?

Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile turned into blood. Exodus 7:20

Even during my opioid addiction, with all my self-loathing, I could at least look at my life and tell myself I was still a physician. I had my struggles, but I was self-sufficient, making a good income, and providing for my family. My occupation gave me purpose and meaning, and I relied on it for my identity. Then, however, I misused my medical license to obtain opioids and suddenly, I wasn’t a physician anymore. I never lost my degree, but I lost my job and was told that I couldn’t practice medicine. That thing which I’d relied upon for my significance, turned out not to be as stable as I thought. It could be taken away. In that loss, I had to figure out who I was. It was only in the disaster, when I’d lost everything, that I truly began to understand faith – relying on God, following his will instead of my own.

Though it may have not had quite the same effect on the Egyptians, this seems to be the lesson in today’s passage. In the story, Moses and Aaron demanded that Pharaoh let the Hebrews go, but he refused. In response, God turned the Nile River to blood. The significance of this curse is only understood in grasping the centrality of the Nile to the Egyptians. The river was their lifeblood, giving them the water necessary for everything. They even had several gods associated with the river and one could say that the river was divine to them. Then though, they abused it, drowning the Hebrew’s infant sons in the river. It was divine judgment then, when God took away this false god from the Egyptians, turning it to blood.

God desires that I daily find my joy, purpose, and meaning only in him. It’s not wrong to have a good job, but if that job is where I find my center, I may one day find that job is not as permanent as I thought. People and things make terrible gods because people and things are fallible and unstable. God created me to find my life in him, but even now, in recovery, I’m still tempted to find my meaning in money, self-sufficiency, status, or accomplishments. So, my daily challenge, is to get up and point my life at God, choosing to find my center in him. Only then, can everything else in my life exist in its proper place. People and things may fail, but God never will.

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