He murdered a man. He ran. He hid. He walked away from his family. He grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth when the rest of his people grew up with leather whips splitting the skin on their backs. 40 years had gone by, Moses had drifted from the fine wines of Egypt to tending animals on frigid nights and sweltering days, never forgetting his irredeemable past.
That precious window of time in his young adult years, where he could have been useful for some divine purpose, had possibly closed. Now, he had kids, a job, memories of mistakes, talents that have long tarnished and gone dormant. He was past his prime. His fate of mediocrity was sealed.
I’ve been there. Thinking my mistakes, my missed opportunities from long ago, my lower metabolism, and heavy day-to-day responsibilities translate to a, “this is all there is for me” mentality. I’ll just have to live with the fact that my body is more broken, my dreams are more faded, and my potential is more limited than ever before. And that’s that. Have you been there too?
Until of course the Lord shows up with a call; a burning bush moment, the holy discontent* that turns into heavenly marching orders for Moses’ life.
Don’t miss Moses’ response to God in the burning bush the moment after God speaks. Exodus 3:11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
Have you heard these words from your heart too? “But God… who am I that I should go? Shouldn’t you be picking someone who hasn’t messed it all up before? Shouldn’t you be tapping someone on the shoulder younger, or more experienced or at least someone who didn’t run away already? Shouldn’t you pick someone who is better at faith than me? Someone with more achievements than me? Someone more gifted than me?”
The Lord’s response: Exodus 3:12 And God said “I will be with you…”
God didn’t even give notice to the personal pity party! Instead, He only affirms the immoveable fact of His presence. There isn’t a mistake you or I or Moses has ever made that will invalidate us from God’s ability to use us, because He is with us! There isn’t any number of years that have passed which would cause you to be a bench sitter for God. There isn’t a memory of lost potential or fear of lack of possibility that could get in the way of God accomplishing what He wants through you and through me and through Moses.
The only roadblock to a burning bush life of Godly purpose is to think, “who am I?” and stop there. Change your thinking to “God is with me,” and get ready for the adventure. Yes, all is lost if all we think about is how lost we are, but with God, all things are possible, right?
Scripture References from the NIV
* The phrase “holy discontent” is borrowed from Bill Hybels