In his sermon on ‘Growing in God’, Garry mentioned a song by Sara Groves called ‘Painting Pictures of Egypt’, which looks at the feelings of the Israelites as they were in the wilderness experience. So often, we are in the ‘in-between’ period when we have heard God’s promises but we have not yet arrived or possessed all that He has promised us. At those times, it feels like we are torn: looking back wistfully at all we have left behind and looking ahead apprehensively at the new things which seem so scary.

“I don’t want to leave here
I don’t want to stay
It feels like pinching to me
Either way
And the places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling out to me
Like a long lost friend

It’s not about losing faith
It’s not about trust.
It’s all about comfortable
When you move so much
And the place I was wasn’t perfect
But I had found a way to live
And it wasn’t milk or honey
But then neither is this.

I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacks
The future feels so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I’ve learned
Those roads were closed off to me
While my back was turned

The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy
To discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
I am caught between the Promise
And the things I know

If it comes too quick,
I may not appreciate it.
Is that the reason behind all this time in sand?
And if it comes too quick
I may not recognise it
Is that the reason behind all this time in sand?” (“Painting Pictures of Egypt”, Sara Groves)

“Painting Pictures of Egypt”, Sara Grove