For the past month, Moses’ story has been resonating with me. Loudly.
For some reason, I started viewing Moses as an arrogant misguided person while living as an Egyptian Hebrew. He knew he wasn’t an Egyptian. Yet he lived like one. And probably had more privileges than a normal Egyptian citizen. He knew that his people were slaves and forced to do hard labor.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to me if Moses deemed himself savior of his people. Who better for the job?
He knows the system of the Egyptian inside and out. He probably received Egyptian education. He probably was smarter than the average Hebrew toiling away day after day. And he probably wanted to free his people from this misery. His people deserved better. And he would be the person to do it, after all, there’s no one else more qualified amongst the Hebrews.
So Moses is walking around, and he walks upon an Egyptian mercilessly beating on a Hebrew. Oh the anger and rage that must’ve burned at the heart of Moses as he watched this injustice unfold before him.
“This is it! This is my chance! This is how I will earn the respect of my fellow Hebrews and be their leader!”
So Moses looked to the left and to the right, saw that no one else was in amongst them and made his move. He helped his fellow Hebrew in danger by killing the Egyptian.
“No need to thank me,” Moses probably thought as he saw the Hebrew scamper away. “I’m doing what I need to for my people.”
The next day, I see Moses walking around, hoping word got around about his heroic deed and hoping that people will start trusting in him and putting their hope in him.
Then he sees two fellow Hebrews fighting, and the rage and frustration burns at Moses again.
“What are you guys doing? Why are you fighting amongst yourselves? We have a bigger fight ahead of us!”
And instead of respect, he was mocked. “What are you gonna do, Moses? Who do you think you are? What? You gonna kill us too?”
That’s not the response that Moses wanted to hear. He wanted respect, but now… was that resentment? Did they resent him? It was scary enough to see that he wasn’t going to be who he thought it was. And now, the blood of an Egyptian, one that worked for Pharaoh, was on his hands. Maybe if he had the support from his people, the blood on his hands wouldn’t be too daunting, but he didn’t and he was alone. He was neither Hebrew nor Egyptian, and he was sure as hell not the leader of the Hebrews.
So he did the only thing that made sense in his head. Run.
And then 40 years, 40 years, later, God called Moses to go and lead God’s people out of Egypt.
This story relates to me, because I see myself so much in the young Moses. (Actually, I think only us Methodist would call a 40 year old ‘young.’)
I want to do things. I want to try things. I want … and then I realized all my prayers and desires started with “God, I want…”
Yes, I think I’m ready. Check that. I thought I was ready for anything. I’m young dammit! Give me a church to lead! But God continued to stay silent in my life. Or may be the better way to say it is that I was too caught up in myself to listen to what God wanted from me.
I’ve had my fair share of frustrations with the local church, with the district and with the conference. I’ve had my fair share of feeling under-used and not being tapped into the potential that I feel that I have.
And, I would’ve taken things into my own hands, take control of my situations and my life, take God out of the driver’s seat, and start driving the car that is my life. And that would’ve been disastrous.
Maybe Moses was really ready to lead his people at the age of 40, but he wasn’t ready to be the leader God wanted. When Moses was humbled enough, when Moses was broken enough, that’s when God called him. Only because then, would Moses completely rely, depend and trust in God and do things God’s way.
There’s too much “me” in me, and too much “I want…” desires in my heart.
But when I began to realize the error of my ways, I started to see that patience is a virtue and that strength does rise in those who wait for the Lord.
I feel I’m at a grooming process, where God is teaching me and equipping me to be the leader that God needs me to be and that takes time. And a process of dying to myself. Confidence is a good trait and needed in ministry. But it’s being confident in God and not in myself.
In God’s time, In God’s way… a year ago, that was too frustrating and God’s time took too long. How arrogant is that? “God you’re taking too long to give me what I know I can do.”
Now? In God’s way and in God’s time is the only way I’ll survive in life and ministry. All God asks of me is that I simply put my trust, life and faith completely in Him, and I honestly believe God will take care of the rest.
The Wesleyan Covenant Prayer has been resonating with me more and more over the past few months.
God will know when I’ll be ready for what God’s plan is for me. And I feel like now, I’ll be like Moses when God calls: “Who am I…”
And, maybe that’s the only way I can really be useful to God.