Things haven't changed much since Moses' time. God asks His people to do stuff...and they make excuses.
"But they won't believe me"
"They won't listen to my voice"
"I don't have the right words"
"I am not good at public speaking"
"Why can't someone else do it?"
Moses used these excuses and if we were honest with ourselves then we will admit that we have too. Even when God proves himself to us faithfully we doubt His goodness and His plan. Moses literally saw his staff turned into a snake...and change back again. Moses experienced his hand turn white with a contagious disease that deforms and isolates people and then he experienced God's healing as it was restored again to perfect health. Yet, Moses doubted. He didn't believe he could do the job that God wanted him to. He didn't have confidence. He tried every excuse to get out of it. But God said:
God never calls us to do something that we can't do. He stretches us. He makes us grow. He is with us through the hard times when we think we can't possible do what he is asking us to do.
I wonder if Moses heard what God was planning to do?
Did Moses know that this task would be more than just miracles and speeches. Did Moses understand that God was going to make Pharaoh unwilling to hear? Did Moses know that it was going to get way worse before it got better? I guess the reality is that Moses wasn't called to know any of this..he was just called to obey. Obedience to God doesn't always work out instantly and it isn't always on this side of Heaven that we see what God is up to.
It makes me think of a missionary couple that a few of my friends know. Two weeks ago, a dedicated man of God, serving in Burkina Faso, was killed in an attack. (read a bit of his story here) We don't know why God placed Mike in that place at that time. We don't know why he was killed and his associate was not. We don't know why God would choose to take a man who was serving in such a profound way in such a horrible manner. Mike was just obeying God. He didn't know where God would lead but he had faith in God.
When God calls us out of our comfort zone, things don't always go well...at least at first. When Moses and Aaron had their first meeting with Pharaoh it did not go well. Hardship for the Israelites came down quickly. Now they were forced to keep up their daily work quota but they had to gather their own straw before beginning their work. Not only did Moses feel that Pharaoh was against him but now he felt the pain of the Israelites as well. It must have been hard to swallow knowing that you didn't even want to sign up for this task in the first place and now it was even worse than you thought! But:
God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the .
Even when things are REALLY bad. Like, really bad...God is still God. He is Lord of all. The seen and the unseen.
Yesterday, we dropped off our oldest daughter who is going to serve as a nanny to a missionary couple in France. Kiandra was searching for direction just as she completed her first semester of university and she wasn't sure what she should be doing. It was only a day or 2 later when I saw the posting for the nanny opportunity. It was easy to make excuses not to even tell her about the posting I had found...
"She is so young. She is only 18."
"Schooling is important she should finish her schooling first"
"She just started a job a few months ago and this position would be volunteer"
"Wasn't Paris just on the news because of terrorist attacks?!"
Yup. There were plenty of excuses to not share the opportunity with Kiandra. However, the Bible reminds us that we are to serve others and I really felt that God was calling Kiandra to serve in this way. As plans were made it became more and more clear that this was exactly the opportunity that she needed at this time. So...away she flew yesterday.
May we find a way to forget our excuses and just trust God.