When Things Get Worse

When things get worse Devo Image

“Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.’ God also said to Moses, ‘I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself fully known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.’”—Exodus 5:22–6:5 (NIV)

Tunnel vision is the loss of peripheral vision that results in a constricted, circular tunnel-like field of vision. Truthfully, we spend most of our lives seeing the world through a tunnel-vision mentality. What do I mean? Well, it’s rare for us to see beyond our little circle, to see the big picture and gain some perspective. We only see two feet in front of us. This is true of non-believers and believers, and it was true of Moses!

Today’s passage comes on the heels of Moses’ first encounter with Pharaoh. He demanded Pharaoh let God’s people go, but Pharaoh not only rejected their demand, he also made their labor harder and treatment worse. Obviously, the people weren’t happy with Moses, so much so they prayed the Lord would judge him! (Exodus 5:21).

Next, Moses confronts the Lord about the whole thing by basically saying, “God, you got my friends in trouble and made me look bad in front of them!” You see, Moses and the Israelites were looking strictly at their circumstances and struggles. They had major tunnel vision—especially Moses, who had seen God perform amazing wonders.

Did Moses think the God who spoke in the flames and turned the staff into a snake was all of a sudden neutered because a man He created said no? Who knows. But what we do know is that his eyes and heart were focused on the wrong thing.

So, God reminds Moses of who He is: “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty . . . I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan.” And He reiterated that by His “mighty hand,” Pharaoh would let the people go. And all Moses has to do is trust and allow the Lord to use him—and the same is true for us!

I pray we come to the point where we no longer view the world with a tunnel-vision mentality, that our circumstances would not cause us to doubt the promises of God, and that we would trust in Him even when things get worse before they get better. I pray we begin to view the world as Paul exhorts in Philippians 4, rejoicing in the Lord always, not being anxious but full of God’s peace, walking in prayer and thanksgiving in all things, and focusing on what’s true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. I pray we’d remember and find comfort in the fact that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV) and that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 NIV). And I pray “that the eyes of [our] hearts may be enlightened in order that [we] may know the hope to which he has called [us], the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people” (Ephesians 1:18 NIV).

Pause: What can we learn from Moses’ confrontation with the Lord here?

Practice: When you feel stressed, angry, full of doubt, upset by the way a situation has unfolded, or overwhelmed by what is going on around you, read Philippians 4, 2 Corinthians 4, and Romans 8.

Pray: Heavenly Father, I don’t always see the big picture or understand why things happen the way they do. But I trust You! I trust that You’re in control, that Your good purposes and plans will play out, and that You are working all things for my good and Your glory. Help me to see more clearly, to open my eyes to Your ways and Your plan. Amen.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.