I like to feel ready, prepared, equipped, and confident in my abilities before I dive into something new. I know why I do this, and I don’t like it. It’s my pride, and fear that I won’t be “good enough.” Case in point: I have a strong desire to learn how to play the guitar. Yet I’m scared. I’m not musically gifted in any way, yet I love music. I love how is makes me feel, how it binds people together from different walks of life, and how we are called to:
However, my love for music doesn’t erase my fear that I won’t be any good at the guitar – what if I can’t remember the necessary chords, or “hear” the rhythm of the music? I could ask my Dad for help, he loves to play the guitar, and he’s good at it too. He would be patient with me, just as he was when we spent all those hours on the ballfield together.
But instead, I make internal excuses and let me fear of failure keep me from my desire to learn. I’ve tried to take control and avoid humiliation by taking secret youtube lessons. This particular example is not a big deal, but it points to a much bigger problem: Am I missing out on blessings from the Lord because I don’t feel prepared enough to say “yes?”
Reading through Exodus this Lenten season, I’m learning more and more about Moses. I didn’t realize how insecure he really was. How relatable is that?
We all know that God spoke to Moses through a burning bush.
Therefore, I am sending you to Pharaoh so that you may lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. Exodus 3:10
Moses’ response (To the God of the Universe): Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt? Exodus 3:11
Translation: God I’m a nobody, they won’t listen to me, are you kidding?
Catch God’s response:
I will certainly be with you, and this will be the sign to you that I am the one who sent you: when you bring the people out of Egypt, you will all worship God at this mountain. Exodus 3: 12
Here we see God’s first promise to Moses, and also to us: If He gives us a mission, a task, a calling, He promises to be with us and help us see it through.
Promise number two from Exodus 3: When we say “yes” to God, he will provide what we need.
He gave Moses a staff that transformed into a serpent (gosh I hope that’s isn’t what He gives me…), He also gave him the ability to shock and awe with the transformation of his healthy hand into a diseased hand when hidden in his cloak. And finally, God gave Moses the ability to turn the water from the Nile into blood.
Yet even with these miracles, Moses doubted his own abilities, saying to God:
Please Lord, I have never been eloquent – either in the past or recently since you have been speaking to your servant – because my mouth and my tongue are sluggish.
God doesn’t seem surprised by Moses’ reservation to speak in public, after all, God knew Moses, He was very aware of his weaknesses and strengths. Here comes his final promise to Moses (and to you and I):
Who placed a mouth on a human? Who makes a person mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.” Exodus 3:11-12
Friend’s the calling on our lives is not about us, because after all, we came from dust and to dust we will return. It’s about Him, and about bringing as many people into His family as we can. Most often this isn’t done in self-confidence, but in deep and abiding dependance.