Flip the Script

Flip the Script

Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel.” Exodus 12:31

In December, I assumed a temporary, or interim, medical director position for the jail medicine program in which I’ve worked as a physician for the last couple of years. I’ve been working under this temporary medical director status for three months now, but last week, I interviewed to take the job officially. In the interview, I was asked about my qualifications for the job. It’s uncomfortable to promote myself, but it was interesting to reflect on the path that brought me to this point. I mentioned my training in family practice and addiction medicine of course, but the most interesting experience that prepared me for this job is also my most obvious life failure. Ten years ago, my life was spiraling out of control as I relapsed into an addiction that caused me to lose my job, threatened to destroy my marriage, and nearly ended my career.

It is precisely that life disaster however, that God is now using to bring me to work with those who’ve struggled as I have. Back then, in the disaster, it would have been hard to believe that my career could be better off for my addiction. Back then, my life was such a depressing disaster that some days, it was hard just to get out of bed. Now, God has used my calamity for good. God profoundly flipped my script, changing my story in a way that I once would not have thought possible.

This is what God did in today’s passage. In the story, the Israelites sought their freedom from centuries of Egyptian slavery. Despite nine previous plagues though, Pharaoh still refused to let them go. To God’s people, their situation must have appeared hopeless. We’ll never be free! God promised though, that Pharaoh would eventually kick the Israelites out. This had to seem like a fantasy but after the tenth plague, this is exactly what happened. The Egyptians finally had enough, and instead of tightening his grip, Pharaoh demanded the Israelites leave immediately. What once seemed a fairy tale became reality as God completely turned around the story of his people.

This is what God does. He changes our story . . . if we abandon our way to follow him. I wouldn’t have had a career in addiction medicine if I’d have kept following my self-destructive appetite. The Israelites wouldn’t have been saved from the tenth plague if they hadn’t obeyed God. God is in the business of turning our stories around completely, but to experience this new story, we must daily choose to be in the business of following him.

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