Quick story time: I decided to get a new Bible about a month ago & usually when I start reading from a new Bible, I like to start at a random point but this time around I thought, “maybe I should just start at the beginning” so I started with Genesis. Fast forward, eventually, I got to Exodus 3 -- the burning bush, "land flowing with milk and honey", “I AM WHO I AM” -- that chapter & on that same day, as I was driving back from the grocery store, my playlist shifted to “Caught in the Reeds” by Chris Renzema. & it was in my car driving back from the grocery store that afternoon, listening to that song, that it all just clicked.
Moses was absolutely an iconic person in the Bible. Leading God’s people out of slavery in Egypt to the promised land? Now that’s a heck of a calling. But, as I read through Exodus 3, the more I started to consider how difficult it must have been for him. Much like I’m sure it was a shock for Mary to be called to be Jesus’s mother through an angel or Esther to wake up one day and realize that in order to stop an attack on her people she would have to risk her life...it's safe to say that carrying out a calling & getting out of your comfort zone can be hard.
“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh so that you may lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt” Exodus 3:11
“What if they won’t believe me and will not obey me but say, “The Lord did not appear to you?” Exodus 4:1
“Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent -- either in the past or recently or since you have been speaking to your servant -- because my mouth and my tongue are sluggish” Exodus 4:10
“Please, Lord, send someone else” Exodus 4:13
“Since I am such a poor speaker, how will Pharaoh listen to me” Exodus 6:30
These are all things Moses said.
God produced miracles left and right. He turned a staff into a snake (Exodus 4:3), had him place his hand in his cloak and when he took it out appeared deceased like snow and when he placed it back in, it returned to its normal state (Exodus 4:6-7), but alas...at the beginning, Moses’ heart appeared to have been caught in reeds. Reeds of self-doubt.
“Who am I”, “What if”, “Send someone else”, defining ourselves by our negative qualities...How often is our heart caught in reeds?
Reading through the rest of the book of Exodus, it becomes more apparent that much like other characters in the Bible, what led him to ultimately start carrying out his purpose was until he began to define his purpose not by his own capabilities but by God’s.
It was through Moses’ trust and obedience in God’s guidance and strength, that enabled him to carry out the purpose that God had intended for his life and his people.