• Tiffany Miller

BLOG: (March 28-April 3) Exodus 7-13, "Softening Hearts"

What is Pharoah’s deal in this block of scripture? He sure seems set in his ways. He and his people had to endure 10 plagues before he let the Israelites go, and he changed his mind ALL 10 times. Looking at it from the other side of history, you’d think that he’d learn his lesson. All 10 of these plagues are not something that I’d like to ever have the opportunity to endure. Each sounds terribly miserable.

I’ve never had the experience of these types of plagues. But I have endured and been witness to other plagues - the plague of self-doubt, the plague of inequality, the plague of blaming, the plague of division. The plagues of Egypt served to soften the Pharaoh's heart - his heart seemed to be pretty dang hard! The plagues in our day can serve the same purpose for us. We can’t overcome them on our own, and to rid our society of them would require a lot of heart softening amongst lots of different people and groups of people. How should we go about softening hearts? Unfortunately, we can’t soften another’s heart. We can only soften our own hearts and invite others to do the same.

The world is in turmoil, as prophesied long ago by many, many prophets. These latter days are something, aren’t they? One wise man, many centuries ago said, "To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right." Confucius said that. He was as right then as he is now. The way to enact a lasting change is through the hearts of the people. We gotta set our hearts right! How might we go about doing that? Check out this article for lots of ideas!

Like Pharaoh, sometimes we don't want to let go of something in our lives until we become truly uncomfortable rather than just inconvenienced. Yes, the first 9 plagues would definitely be uncomfortable and very inconveniencing, but Pharaoh didn’t seem to feel the true impact of the plagues until his child died. He had chosen to be too hard-hearted. What are we too hard-hearted to let go of to truly follow the Lord? What perceived “conveniences” am I holding on to because I’m perhaps too lazy to do it the Lord’s way? I know the Lord is perfect and all-knowing, yet, sometimes my actions reflect a different sentiment and belief. For example, I have been known, on occasion, to yell at my girls when they aren’t listening to me. The Lord has counseled us against such behavior. I know this, but I continue to do it. Does that indicate that in the moment I think that my way is better than His? That I think I know better, because this situation seems to require it. But my girls won’t listen to me unless I do! This is the excuse I tell myself to justify my actions. [Somewhat random sidenote - if ever I feel the need to justify my behavior, there’s almost a certainty that I’m listening to the wrong voice]. We’ve been shown a higher, holier way. Why do I seemingly consistently change my mind in the heat of the moment to resort back to ways that aren’t correct? Pharaoh changed his mind to go back to ways that weren’t correct over and over again. I need a softer heart and, perhaps some more humility to maintain my dedication and diligence to the Lord’s ways. The ways I’ve covenanted to follow.

As always, we have a TON of resources available to help us navigate the vicissitudes of life, one of the greatest of which is the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Remember Heavenly Father’s goal is for us to be like Him and return to Him. The way is prepared for us and we have a perfect example and a perfect advocate to help us make it. Hopefully we don’t have to endure 10 plagues like Pharaoh did in order for us to make the correct decisions necessary to direct our lives along the Covenant Path. But, even if we need to endure the equivalent of these 10 plagues to help coach us into choosing the right, we can remember that the Lord hasn’t given up on us and He never will. Even through Pharaoh's persistent hard-heartedness, the Lord didn’t give up. He had sent Moses to free the Children of Israel and He stuck by them, protecting and coaching them until they were ready for and safely delivered to the Promised Land. He’s currently doing the same for us. That protection and coaching may look different for each of us, but He’s there and He’ll be with us every step of the way until we reach our Promised Land of Eternal Life with Him.

I'm Tiffany and I live in sunny Arizona (love me some sunshine!). I have 5 beautiful daughters. I know what you're thinking, that's A LOT of estrogen! and you'd be right, but we have some of the greatest times known to mankind through our adventures in learning (we homeschool), loving, playing, and growing together. In my spare time, I love to read (I own literally thousands of books) and hike in the beautiful mountains near my home.

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