I have often wondered about the passage in the bible where it states God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Why would Love, that God is, harden someone’s heart.
Love has been defined, the verb part, as doing what is in the best interest of the object of its love. It recently occurred to me that had God not hardened Pharaoh’s heart the Israelites would probably have remained emotionally shackled in long-term slavery with worsening physical and emotional distress, than go forward to the unknown promised land.
Love is tough!
A healthy minded parent would do whatever it takes to relieve a child of distress or abuse in any way. Parents may ask teachers for more homework in a bid to ensure a child’s potential is fulfilled, employers may demand more from employees and this help in skill building. Exceeding healthy limits may be Pharaoh’s heart being hardened to provoke one to exit and move towards personal dreams being fulfilled. Love may therefore harden Pharaoh’s heart if the child of Love refuses to move out of an abusive atmosphere / system.
Many people deemed successful have been known to identify their turning point of rag to riches, shame to fame, pain to gain, to be the peak of pain in different ways: extreme poverty, base humiliation, peak of shame or emotional distress. Had their circumstances not been adverse there may not have been any motivation to exit to a healthier place.
The promised land is different for every one. Lush green fields it may be for some, yet for others a cosy place in a sky scraper. The “green field far, far away” as an old song goes, is as far as our minds imagine and often well within reach when the decision is made to leave the comfort zone.
To walk on water you have to come out of the boat~ John Ortberg
Walking on water, bound to be an exhilarating experience but requires coming out of the boat. Great opportunities may easily be missed out on for choosing to stay in comfort zones. Increasing distress may however propel one out of comfort to healthier places. When life gets tough, it may be the push out of comfort to fulfilled dreams, to being all God has designed one to be, entering one’s promised land!