In a song called Painting Pictures of Egypt by Sara Groves one of the verses say,
“The past is so tangible. I know it by heart. Familiar things are never easy to discard. I was dying for some freedom, but now I hesitate to go.
I am caught between the Promise and the things I know.”
This is where I have found myself for months now; caught between the promise and the things I know.
I WAS dying for some freedom and now I hesitate. I hesitate, because it is so true, familiar things are not easy to discard. Even the hard, unwanted things in our lives.
In another line of the song she says, “And the place I was wasn’t perfect, but I had found a way to live. And it wasn’t milk or honey, but then neither is this.”
It’s funny how, even when the way we are living can be so enslaving, when we are set free it can be so hard to get out of the mentality we were stuck in. How our responses can become so patterned, that we continue responding in the same ways even though life around us has completely changed.
The chorus of the song says, “I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt. Leaving out what it lacks and the future feels so hard and I want to go back.”
Do you ever do this, too? Look back and paint a picture of how things were, but leave out all it lacked?
It continues, “But the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I’ve learned.”
Those responses used to fit me and the way life was, but they don’t fit here anymore.
I’ve been thinking about that song a lot after mentioning it with a friend Monday and realizing where I am and where I have been.
Then, I was reading in 1 Kings 19 this morning and verses 19-21 really stuck out and kept calling me back to read them over and over again.
God sent Elijah to find Elisha….
So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.”
And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?”
So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.
1 Kings 19:19-21
Elisha’s faith to leave everything behind and follow God’s calling immediately is amazing. He didn’t just leave it, he burned it. He totally got rid of what he knew and moved on to what God had next.
He didn’t hold on to the security in the 12 yoke of oxen or all he had.
So, why do we hold on to things that don’t even bring security?
I think it’s summed up in another line of the song, “It’s not about losing faith. It’s not about trust. It’s all about comfortable, when you’ve moved so much.”
It’s all about comfortable. We get comfortable, even in the destructible.
Here is to burning what was and moving on to what’s next instead of getting caught in the middle.