I have recently been doing a devotional on Moses, and I gotta tell ya, I feel for the guy. Picture this for me: You’ve got a guy, around eighty years old (relatively young in Biblical terms), hanging out with his wife’s family, shepherding for his father-in-law. He has had it pretty rough, being driven from his homeland after killing a guy, after all, but he is mostly satisfied to live out the rest of his days working for his father-in-law. Little does he know, God has a much different plan in mind. Little does he know, a mundane day in a field with a flock of sheep, would be the last mundane day he’d ever experience.
I commiserate with Moses in a lot of ways. God asked him to do the impossible, and he wasn’t lacking in his doubts. That’s what I love about him. He doubted God just as much as I tend to doubt Him. Moses was told in Exodus 3:10, “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Now, if I had been in Moses’ shoes, I would have replied, “Excuse me, what?” For an ordinary man like Moses, this is quite the command, so Moses responds how we would expect, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
It is pivotal that each of us pay very close attention to the way that God responds to this question. God says, among other things, “I will be with you…” Uffda. That is some good stuff. I will be with you. I will be with you. I will be with you.
Just as this is rarely enough for me, it certainly isn’t enough for Moses either. Moses continues to ask God countless questions for even more reassurance; so many in fact that God becomes angry with him. The important part of the story, however, is that he goes. He takes up his cross and follows God, dead set on doing the impossible, despite his doubts and his fears.
Once arriving in Egypt, one might assume that since God sent him, everything went smoothly for Moses. However, this assumption could not be further from the truth. Moses and Aaron face countless difficulties and failures on their journey to free the Israelites. After Moses politely asks the king of Egypt to free God’s people, Pharaoh becomes angrier with the Israelites and makes their lives as slaves even more unbearable. This causes the Israelites to doubt Moses and Aaron, begging them to stop making things worse.
This is when Moses turns to God in Exodus 5, asking, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”
Aaah… There it is. Here, Moses demonstrates a dangerous, yet common human weakness. It is the weakness that causes us to trust God up to a certain point, but then, when He does not carry out His plan the way we think He should, we turn against Him. I do it. You do it. We all do it.
Moses was called to be the leader of a distressed group of people for 40 years. He was a simple shepherd. He was not fluent in speech, and he certainly didn’t have an out-of-this-world faith in God. He was an ordinary man asked to do an extraordinary thing.
If I could hop up to heaven for just a few minutes, I would chat with my Grandma, but I would also give Moses the biggest high-five, like ever. Why? Because he served his heavenly father despite intense opposition and fear. Moses continually doubted that God had chosen the right person for this improbable task. The number of times Moses turned to God and asked, “Are you sure you have the right guy?” is recorded only twice in the Bible (I think). However, for forty years he was the leader of a group of people with extremely fickle faith. It is quite possible that Moses asked the Lord this question at least once a day for forty years. He had his doubts — there’s no question.
I have my doubts too. God has called me to do something impossible too–impossible for me anyway. He called me to be a stay-at-home mom, and I have just got to say, this is a relatively impractical request for my people-loving, activity-seeking, loquacious personality. While my husband works a 12 hour day and my son plays happily or naps quietly, I often become nearly consumed by the silence of my house. I ache for people, laughter, busyness, conversation, and (dare I say) purpose.
I realize that there is a part of myself that will never be satisfied as a stay-at-home mom, the people-loving part. At times, this causes me to ask, “God, are you sure you have the right girl?” I tend to doubt that my Father called me to do this for Him. I doubt that He has a plan greater than my boredom, greater than my restlessness. This is when I mirror Moses and ask with frustration and sometimes contempt, “Who am I that I should only have one purpose, to raise my family, while the rest of the world is out having a life?” This is a question the devil breathes into me.
Uffda. How’s that for honesty? Now, don’t get me wrong. There are certainly many days that I can hardly contain my immense joy because I get to watch my son grow, missing nothing of his childhood. However… there are also days that I look to God and wonder why this is His call for me. In a world that emphasizes money, busyness, big houses, and success, while de-emphasizing family focused living, I often feel as though I stand alone, me, the girl who hates being alone and always has.
When I don’t think I can handle another day of just mothering, this is when God finally speaks to me and He says, “I will be with you. I will be with you. I will be with you.” Like Moses, there are days that this will be enough and there are days that I continue to seek more answers. There is one thing, however, that I can say without question, even on my bad days: My Father called me to this and I will do my best for Him.
Thank you, Moses.