“In pressure, Thou hast enlarged me.” (Psalm 4:1, Darby)
For years, Jacob and his family had lived in the comforts and freedom of Canaan. They had married and birthed children. Their lives were good. But after all this time, only “70 souls” went down to Egypt (Ex. 1:5). Hardly a dent in the chosen family whose numbers were promised to be “like the sand of the seashore.” (Gen 22:17)
But then something happened.
“During those years when the children of Israel were in Egypt, especially when they were under persecution and oppression, the number grew so much that when they came out of Egypt the men numbered 600,000, besides women, children, and the mixed multitude who came out with them. Probably, it amounted to between two and 2 1/2 million people.”
Stephen Kaung, Seeing Christ in the Old Testament, Part 1
In pressure, God enlarged His people.
The Israelites, oppressed and enslaved to a wicked Pharaoh, are a beautiful picture of the way God produces fruit in our lives, even under some of the hardest of circumstances.
A family that had been small, and was so far short of what ultimately God intended, grew bountifully into what God had promised – through pressure, difficulty, and great trial.
Many times, we long for the days that were comfortable, before we had children and life got so busy. We long to be able to choose how to spend our free moments and leave the house without loading so. much. stuff. Or we long to be healthy. We long to be pregnant. We long to be financially stable.
Oh, if we could just be freed from all these difficulties so that we could live in peace. And yet, if we could sit with Him in the heavens for a moment and see our situation from God’s perspective:
“The people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help…and God heard … God saw …” (Exodus 2:23-24a ESV)
God heard. He heard their cries. Yes, there was a delay to answer, even after the children of Israel finally cried out. But His delay is not because He doesn’t see, but because He does see.
He who began a good work in us has promised to complete it. He knows exactly what is needed to bring us into that place of fruitfulness.
Precious sisters, if the feeling of pressure resonates in your heart, lift up your eyes and cry to Him for deliverance. Cling to Him. Don’t hesitate to ask Him to free you from your trial.
But if there is delay, even for many years – know that He has seen. He has heard your cries. And He is working all this for His glorious end, to enlarge His work in our lives. May God grant us great grace to trust Him as we wait for His deliverance in our lives.