"Their land (Egypt, where the Israelites were slaves) swarmed with frogs even in the chambers of their kings .... He gave them hail for rain and fiery lightning bolts through their land ... He shattered the trees of their country .... He opened the rock and water gushed out; it flowed through the desert like rain ....So He brought His people out with joy, His chosen ones with singing" (excerpts from Psalm 105).There is in many of our histories the story of going from oppression to freedom, dotted similarly with signposts of God at work. I come from Mennonite stock. For this ethnic mix of original German, Swiss and Dutch peoples there is the story of an exodus from Europe to Russia and then to the U.S. and Canada in a quest for religious freedom.
My husband's Russian great-grandfather converted from the Orthodox faith to simple faith in Christ as taught by the Russian Baptists. As punishment for converting he was imprisoned for eight years in Siberia before he could bring his family to Canada.
The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister is the fascinating true story of a young Russian girl who, from ages nine to about 20, kept detailed journals of her life. She describes her happy experiences as part of a large wealthy Russian family. She relates how the Bolsheviks expropriated her family's property. She tells of the dreadful winter of the German occupation of Russia when she was a teenager. She does eventually get to America. Hers is a story full of the evidences of God bringing someone out with joy and singing (though she shed many tears along the way).
In addition, many of us have a personal story of being in bondage to our old life and finding new life in Jesus.
And so it might be an interesting exercise to write a Psalm 105 of our own. It could be the story of our people. Or it could be our personal story where we recall the details of God taking us out of a life of slavery to sin. (If you write such a psalm, don't hesitate to use your imagination for the details, making it come alive like the psalmist does with the rain of hail, the fiery lightning, the shattered trees, and the miraculous gushing water!)
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the way you have worked in the history of my forefathers by bringing them to Canada, and for my own personal story of coming to freedom as your child. Amen.
(Adapted from "God Brings Us Out" first published on Other Food: daily devos August 8, 2011.)
- by Violet Nesdoly