I’ve been reading through the book of Exodus lately. You’d think a guy who’s been a Christian for almost 10 years would have been through Exodus. Truth is, I don’t recall ever going through it. But much like Moses, I’m finding myself on a journey. Not just literally as I’m walking with Moses and Aaron through the book but I’m finding myself on a journey myself. If you’ve got some time, I’d love to share with you something that I found today.
For those of you who have never opened a Bible before, or haven’t been in one for awhile, let me give you a synopsis of Exodus. After Adam & Eve disobeyed God, sin entered the world and everything just went haywire. Brothers killing each other, men chasing men instead of girls, people wanting to beat on angels, dramatic Facebook posts; it’s crazy. But God comes into the picture and promises that there will be a new nation, His chosen nation of people. There’s some hope in this world. The nation of Israel is slowly formed but then those dastardly Egyptians come in and enslave the nation of Israel. Now, I’ve left out a lot of details but this is where you blow the dust off your Bible and read the book of Genesis to know the whole story.
Then we find Moses. Now, Moses was special. God appears to Moses in the form of a burning bush, as in, a bush that looks like it’s on fire but, well, it’s not. I can’t make this stuff up. God tells Moses that he is to go Pharaoh and tell him to let the people of Israel go. God assures Moses that He will be with him, equipping him with the ability to perform signs that will show God’s power. But here’s the thing that’s caught my eye through the first 7 chapters of Exodus: when God tells Moses and his brother Aaron to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let the nation of Israel go, God tells them that, “Pharaoh won’t listen”.
So, my question is, why bother? If I was in that position, why would I even waste my breath trying to talk someone down if they’re just going to turn green and start smashing stuff? (I don’t think Pharaoh did that, it’s never said in the Bible. But, you never know. Pharaoh is a crazy dude.)
But then I started thinking about what comes next in the story. In the end, spoiler alert, God frees the nation of Israel. They’re taken out of the bondage of the Egyptians. And who’s leading the nation of Israel through the parted walls of water (oh yeah, God parts the Red Sea through Moses. Like a boss.) and into freedom? Moses.
You see, we have choices we face everyday. Some good, some bad. But there’s those that God leads to us. We can sit there and think, “Why bother” because there’s some good sized impossibilities in front of us. But here’s the thing: we don’t know the outcome. This is where the Holy Spirit started knocking on my heart. I’ve had my sights aimed on this promotion at work for quite awhile but after 7 months of getting nowhere, I’m beginning to lose hope. Doubt is settling in. I’m thinking, “Surely there are better people for it”. But that is such the wrong attitude! I don’t know that I won’t get it. I don’t know my current level of awesome at work isn’t going to get me somewhere. (Okay, after that arrogant comment, I’m definitely not getting it. Side-note: I love using italics).
What would have happened to Moses if he would have gave up? He would have missed out on experiencing God in a way that few people do, He would not have gotten to see God work first-hand and he would have missed out on some huge blessings. In short, Moses would have missed out. And in a lot of ways, so are we.
I’m not just talking about salvation and freedom that Christ offers but I’m also talking about the opportunities God graciously gives us. Right now, I’m enjoying the privilege of designing a logo for a church. How is that a blessing? It’s getting me back into art, which is something I’ve desperately needed for awhile. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a seminary student but I need something more creative than writing a 10 page paper on Anabaptists. (Don’t worry, I’m still trying to figure out what an Anabaptist really is).
But just think about that next time you’re faced with a big opportunity. Think about how you don’t know the outcome. Think about what might come after. The worst that can happen is that short sense of failure. The best that can happen changes depending on the opportunity.
Something to think about.