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So. Many. Gnats.

Today, on the fourth Tuesday of Lent, my wife Christina shared a devotional thought with me. We're in uncertain times, and with so many ideas and ideals swirling around us, we can often feel overwhelmed and even wholly overcome. This morning's passage considered in the devotional was Exodus 8: 16-18.


"The Lord said to Moses, 'Say to Aaron, stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth so that it may become gnats throughout the whole land of Egypt.' And they did so. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and gnats came on humans. And animals, like all the dust of the earth, are turned into gnats throughout the whole land of Egypt. The Magicians tried to produce nets by their secret arts, but they could not. There were gnats on both humans and animals."


So, you know me...I needed me some process time with art and an article.



So Many Gnats


This world is full of pharaohs and magicians, fear and fury. And there are so many gnats that when you really start to think about it, there's not that much difference between now and 5000 years ago. There are still Moses and Aaron types, and there are still pharaohs. There are still magicians who serve the Pharaoh through their arts and skills. And we all get to play a role in our own generation.


Freedom, Struggle, and Exodus


So today, I choose to leave the chaos of this sense of oppression and move toward the rescue. The little things of this existence try to distract us from the greater reality.


  • God rules this place.

  • God calls us into the wilderness to focus on Him.

  • God invites us to seek His presence amid uncertainty.

  • God continues to reign above and beyond what the rulers and the news and the feelings of this day provide.


Human Power is temporary. God's power is forever. So, like the story of Moses and the people of Abraham, we as humans in 2024 can trust the plan. We can trust that as God desires to lead us. We will face difficult circumstances, and we will face people of power and prestige who have no fear of God. We will face their magicians, if you will; we will face those surrounding them, propping them up with their art; consider the similarity today between publicists and social media experts doing what they think needs to be done to support their topic of choice.


Honestly, y'all, I'm exhausted. We've not even begun the long march to the election. And other things. This isn't just a rant on the election process or who the candidates are. This is an observation of what we can choose to listen to, believe, and focus on.


If we're going to focus on the current or up-and-coming leader who promises all sorts of things but is sometimes not able to deliver, if we choose to pay attention to those around them who are curating and building up their superior's reputation with their own arts, another narrative that causes us to take our eyes off of our rescuer, our Creator, then one would say that perhaps we have everything that we were looking for.


But there is one who is better than the best this world can offer in terms of leaders. There's one whose story and beauty soar above anything the people of this world would ever be able to manufacture, curate, or build.


The truer story is about the one who is lovingly pursuing us to release us into the freedom of knowing Him, the one who may use the wilderness circumstances to help us release our grip on the temporary things of this life.


All so that we could come into his care and his protection.


Think About It


Let's think about the gnats that swarm around us and land on us daily to distract us and turn our eyes away from the very important things. There is lots of noise, not lots of buzzing, but lots of distraction.


Are these things designed to simultaneously come at us from all directions and remove us from our genuine cover and protection? I just think it's worth considering that we have a choice of what we will pay attention to.


We have the option to decide what will fill our minds and our hearts. Will it be fear? Will it be anger? Will it be bitterness and rage? Or will it be simply trusting that the God who created us has a plan to lead us to the very space that is his own care?


I don't know. Actually, I do know.


  • I will pay attention to the more authentic things, not the temporary ones.

  • I will pay attention to the higher things rather than the base things.

  • I will live in our higher frequency and not be overcome by the low din of current circumstances.

  • I will choose to feast on the manna that God provides in the desert, where nothing seems to grow.

  • I will choose to depend on God's rescue and provision and encourage you to do the same.


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