“Be Free” by Christine Caine – based on Exodus 8:1-15 (Women of Faith Conference 2013)
- Exodus 8:1-15 The Plague of Frogs8 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, “Plead with the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the Lord.”9 “You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.”10 “Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said.
In the days immediately before Pharaoh released the Israelites from slavery, the land of Egypt was struck with a series of plagues, including the infestation of thousands of frogs. Desperate to be rid of them, Pharaoh pleaded with Moses to call upon his God and ask for the frogs to be removed. When Moses agreed, he basically said to Pharaoh, “Say when, and it will be done.” Pharaoh’s response however, was quite mind-boggling; he said, “Do it tomorrow!” Why in the world did he hesitate to say, “NOW! Take the frogs away NOW!”
At the 2013 Women of Faith conference, Christine discussed the above verbal exchange that took place between Moses and Pharaoh, and she presented the audience with a question of her own. She asked them to consider what “frogs” were living in, on, and around them, that they had simply learned to live with. Why is it, she asked, do so many Christians sit in church week after week, read book after book, listen to sermon after sermon, and feel inspired to change yet continue to say, “I’ll apply that principle tomorrow.”
I absolutely love Christine Caine’s testimony; it sends a powerful message of hope to any man or woman who has failed to get out from under the crushing hold of past and painful experiences. Christine, now in her late 40s, could easily have succumbed to the horrible facts of her past, allowing them to define who she is as a person, but instead, she gave that privilege to God and let His truths influence her thoughts about who she really is. As a result, she now lives a life completely free of self-destructive behaviors; this is her story:
From the age of three, right through her childhood and into her teen years, Christine was the victim of sexual abuse. Molested regularly, by someone who should have been her protector, Christine was forced to enter her adult years as a woman whose body had been repeatedly used and abused. Most women who have been victims of childhood sexual abuse have difficulty settling into non-dysfunctional lives. We all live with some level of dysfunction, but for women like Christine, who have endured years of sexual abuse, the level of dysfunction is typically much higher.
Christine could have – and should have – been a messed-up woman. She was not only an ongoing victim of sexual abuse, but also an unwanted child. As a young adult she discovered that her mother was not her biological mother. Her real mother, according to a document which was released in 1990 when the Australian Adoption Information Act was changed, did not want her. Written in the report were the words, “She [Christine’s mother] does not seem to be too emotionally involved with the child. She seems to want to get it all over with and get back to work as soon as possible.” Such cutting words, yet not nearly as painful as those on Christine’s birth certificate. Where Christine should have seen her name in print, she saw instead, “Unnamed,” and below that, “# 2508 of 1966.” As Christine explained, seeing herself described as a number was incredibly dehumanizing.
It’s no wonder that Christine often heard the enemy taunting her in her mind, mocking her with cruel insults such as, “Of course you were abused for twelve years Christine; you weren’t even a name, you were just a number!” That mental tape recorder could have traumatized her for life, but praise God, she learned long ago how to push the “stop” button.
What the enemy did not bank on, was another set of words that Christine discovered and which she chose instead to believe. The facts about her life, as recorded on her Birth Certificate and the Social Services report, were indeed truthful facts, but Christine learned some other truths about herself that gave her hope and a renewed sense of self-worth. Those truths were found in the written Word of God, the Bible:
- Isaiah 49:1 Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name – (Christine’s birth certificate says she was unnamed, but God’s Word says otherwise).
- Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb – (the Social Services report says that Christine was unwanted, but God’s Word says that she was known and wanted even before she was born).
- 2 Corinthians 3:5 It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God – (An additional report, from a prestigious Australian College, said that Christine was unqualified to work in the area of youth services, but God’s Word says that He qualifies those whom He calls).
- John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Christine allowed the truth of God’s words to transform her heart and mind; she trusted that if she built her life on His words and not on the words of others, then she would be set free from the afflictions of her past. She could have given in to defeat and let the enemy destroy her soul, but she decided to take back from him what he stole. The devil took twelve of her childhood years from her, and she was damned if she was going to let him take any more.
Today, Christine travels the world teaching and preaching the Word of God, while also raising two daughters, authoring books, and overseeing the A21 Campaign, an anti-human trafficking organization that fights slavery. None of this would have been possible, she insists, if she had given residence to the facts of her past and allowed them to crush her hopes for a brighter future. Her message to other women stuck in their past, is to choose today, to deal with yesterday, so they can stop saying “Tomorrow.”