When God asks us to do the unexpected.
Read Exodus 3:1-10, 4:10-17
“Therefore, come now, and I will send you”
The day started just like every day for the past 40 years. Moses got up in the morning, ate a meal, perhaps packed a lunch, filled the water skin, and then headed into the wilderness to tend the flock that belonged to his father-in-law Jethro. When Moses walked away from the tents with the animals, he had no inkling that this day would be unlike any other day. The sun was hot, the animals were smelling, and his life was lived in the wastelands, both physically and spiritually. Perhaps as he walked out into the fields he reflected on a time when he had servants who did all his work as he walked the halls of the palace of Pharaoh. Maybe as he sat on a rock watching over the sheep, he felt a tinge of regret as he had lost the riches of Egypt and was forced to flee into the desert where he would be forgotten by the Egyptians and even by God himself. What we do know is that this day would end with Moses forever changed.
This day suddenly became different. As Moses walked with the flock, he saw something that was unexpected and unusual, a fire that burned but did not consume. So, when Moses turned aside to see the unusual sight, little did he realize that his life was about to be radically altered. The wonder of seeing a non-consuming fire turned into an unexpected encounter with the living God. What started as a case of curiosity turned into terror, as Moses came face to face with the Holy God. It must have been a shock for Moses, for, in his 40 years in the wilderness, he must have felt as though God had forgotten him. His fear then turned to confusion and apprehension as God revealed that he was going to send Moses back to Egypt for the purpose of leading the people out of slavery and into the promised land.
When Moses realized what God was calling him to do, his fear of God was replaced by his fear of the task given to him. For Moses, the mission only brought up the failures of his past. How could he lead the people of Israel when he had already flopped in his previous attempt to deliver his people? It is one thing to be given a new opportunity and responsibility, it is quite another to be given an assignment where you have already failed. With blunt denial, Moses starts making one excuse after another, trying to rationalize why he is not able to answer the call.
All this leads us to a confrontation with our own shortcomings when God asks us to do the unexpected. Often, like Moses, we feel ill-equipped to perform the tasks God sets before us. He places before opportunities for service that we did not anticipate or prepare for. Consequently, we tend to make excuses for why we cannot perform the assignment. We look to others to take up the banner while we remain on the sidelines. However, when God brings before us unanticipated opportunities, he is working to teach us to rely upon him. During this season of Covid, if we listen to God, he is bringing new unexpected possibilities to serve him. Start asking God to give you the willingness to serve him and the vision to see the unforeseen opportunities that he brings before you. Who knows, maybe he will then accomplish something greater than you ever anticipated.