Freedom through the Desert
"The path to freedom always has the desert". This line from Bishop Barron summarizes the Exodus experience. God promised the Israelites freedom from Egypt. It was freedom from slavery and freedom for the Promised Land. But what the Israelites didn't realise is that this freedom is through the desert. Why would God lead them through the desert?
They couldn't reconcile the promise of freedom from the land of slavery with the desert experience. After all, they were better off in the land of slavery. Many of us are like the Israelites. We can't understand why God would have to take us through the desert to our freedom, to the Promised Land. We want the fulfilled promise, but not the desert.
I think we get it all wrong with this mindset. Freedom doesn't come from without. It isn't something God imposes on us. It is something God reveals in us and leads us to live. In the desert, the heat, the harshness help us to discover our freedom, the fulfilment of God's promise. To reject "the desert" is to reject God's process of fulfilling His promise.
Fr. Francis Afu