Let My People Go

These words from Moses and Aaron in the book of Exodus (chapters 1-12) have really been resonating in my spirit the last couple of weeks.  Here we are, about a month or so into the COVID-19 crisis, and I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel a little trapped here!

Honestly?  I haven’t minded the schedule easing up a little bit.  Not having to rush right out the door after work hasn’t been that bad of an adjustment.  So while we have been trying to do the wise thing, and that’s sheltering in place, there is a part of me that’s getting a little stir crazy.  Cabin fever as we have often times referred to it.

Let my people go!  This isn’t a shot at our government officials (both federal and local), as I’m convinced that for the most part, they’re doing the best they can.  Remember.  There’s no script for this!  Literally, the last time anything like happened was over 100 years ago!  So, there’s no playbook for how to handle this pandemic.  

Let my people go!  I’m not upset about schools closing.  I’m not even too worked up that I haven’t been able to go out to my favorite restaurants.  Again, if we’re going to see the curve flatten, then this is what we have to do.  

But I’ll say it again.  Let my people go!

My point is simply this: don’t allow your spirit and your mind to be held captive by this crisis.

We’re hearing reports of cases of depression rising.  We’re hearing about more attempts of suicide.  Why?  People are feeling trapped, helpless, with nowhere to go.  Moms.  Dads.  Brothers.  Sisters. Grandmas.  Grandpas.  Aunts and Uncles.  It’s easy right now to feel like we’ve all been backed into a corner.  I admit, it is easy right now to feel a little overwhelmed.  

So COVID-19, I’ll tell you again.  LET MY PEOPLE GO!

Whether we are freed tomorrow, or if we have to continue practicing social distancing for another 3 months (I sure hope not), please make up in your mind that you will not be bound, and you will not be held captive.

I’m reminded of a great illustration that I have preached about a few times over the years.  It is simply known as the Stockdale Paradox (taken from Jim Collin’s book, Good to Great).  Named after a high-ranking naval officer, James Stockdale, who was captured and tortured during the Vietnam War, and was a POW for over seven years.  

With no reason to believe that he would ever make it out alive, he found a way to stay positive and to remain optimistic.  The Stockdale Paradox can be summed up in one phrase: “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Folks, we’ve yet to be physically tortured.  We’ve not actually been imprisoned.  Yes, what we are going through is unprecedented, but let us remain hopeful, and let us remain optimistic.  We WILL prevail in the end!

So, to whatever you’re struggling with right now.  Whatever is holding you captive.  Speak (in faith) to it right now…LET ME GO!


By Nate Roemer

Follow Nate on twitter @regunate

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