Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Making Bricks Without Straw

Remember the story of the Israelites in bondage to the Egyptians? (See Exodus) The long awaited Deliverer (Moses) had at last come to Egypt to confront Old Pharaoh and tell him to “Let the People go.” So what did Pharaoh do? He declared the Israelites had to continue producing their daily quota of bricks, except that he refused to continue supplying them with the necessary straw.

So the elation they must have felt at the appearance of the promised Deliverer was immediately squelched by the punitive and unreasonable work assignment. Instead of leaving Egypt, they were subjected to a more cruel bondage. A testament to the belief that circumstances are never so bad that they can’t be made worse.

Making bricks without straw.

And think how they must have felt about Moses at that point. They probably wished he’d go away so their taskmasters would bring back the straw. Never mind that they would still be slaves. In Egypt, for crying out loud – the place is a desert!

So anyway, I have often had times in my own life experience when I feel like I’m being forced to make bricks without straw. I’m in such a circumstance right now. The details are unimportant; I think you can get the picture.

I’m also in a Romans Chapter 7 sort of mode.

I know the things I SHOULD be doing, but I don’t do them.

And yet I keep doing the things I SHOULDN’T be doing. “Wretched (wo)man that I am!”

And then I remember that following the experience of making bricks without straw, came the parting of the Red Sea and FREEDOM!

And Romans Chapter 8.

So I know circumstances are bound to improve and so will I.

Meanwhile, I have my blog buddies to keep me cheered up.


Sue said...

I know that feeling only to well. Can't seem to get my priorities right sometimes. Don't get too down on yourself. No body is perfect.

Paul Nichols said...

Are you in the next room? I hear you loud and clear. I've been there; done that.

Your unbounded honesty is not only Romans 8, but 1 Cor 15, too!

Good days are ahead for you.

Your friend,
1 Cor 16:21

Ralph said...

Now that is an interesting and insightful twist to dealing with difficult times. Thanks for sharing that.
Hope you get the straw back in your life soon.

Cliff said...

Great analogy J. Hope it all straigntens out in your life and mind.

Jamie Dawn said...

That line you said about things can always get worse is so true. We think we have it bad, and sometimes we do, but then we don't have to look very hard to find someone in much more dire circumstances than ours.

I know the feeling of struggling to make bricks with no straw. Of course, our situation is nothing as terrible as what the Israelites faced. We've been in quite a problem for the past couple of years which I may share one of these days on my blog when the whole mess is behind us.
Meanwhile, I feel your pain even though I don't know the details of it. Put one foot in front of the other and strive for what's right in the midst of your struggle. I hope you can share good news with us soon about having conquered in this situation. I pray you have the patience and courage needed to get through your problem.
God bless you and keep you.

Jim said...

Oh Gosh, Janell. This isn't fun for you and of course none of us like for you to be hurting either.
I am pulling for you and we all are.

My guess is that one or the other part will get better and that the other will work itself out more gradually. What you can do to help that may come to you but we don't know that.

I will say for you to "hang in there" and you will but saying that doesn't help much right now. But I need to tell you to do that anyway.

And God loves you. God is there when even your best friend can't help you and it seems no one can.

I will always remember a certain person telling me that. It didn't make much sense and even sounded corny when he said it. But it sure makes sense now and it did a little later then. It came to help me a lot.

Things will work out, they can't go on like they are forever. We just don't know how or how fast it will happen.


LZ Blogger said...

Janell ~ A good and long time friend of mine said to me once a long time ago; "Thank God for the privilege of my problems!" I still think that man is a genius and I try to think that way whenever I feel down. You know Janelle, I don't think I even knew you had this blog. I've only posted on your Nellie's one before. I see down there that your daugther graduated from UNO. We were there a few years ago for our DIL's graduation from there (also at the Civic too) and then a few years before that for our youngest son's graduation. I hope you guys have a great 4th. of July. I remember Sherry doing some horse riding this time last year with you guys and Jamie Dawn out at Cliff & Marilyn's place. You and Cliff's daughter were the only ones that really looked like you knew what you were doing on those horses though. Well I guess Marilyn did too now that I think about it. That was a fun time! ~ jb///

Rachel said...

Janell, I certainly hope things improve for you and have by now, since I'm so late getting here to read this! I stay behind a lot of the time!!

I have that same problem sometimes of knowing what I should do but not doing it. Hang in there! I'm remembering Blogstock this week and the good time we had!!

Jim said...

Hope your friends are binging you some straw or giving you a hand with the bricks.
I would if I were closer.

Janell said...

You are all the BEST!!
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and moral support.