Do Hard Things: The With-Ness of God
Exodus 3:4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”
There’s Moses, tending his father-in-law’s sheep, minding his business. Suddenly, he sees a bush engulfed in flames and not burning up. He walks closer, and God calls out to him. His response: Here I am. God’s about to give Moses an impossible, and frankly ridiculous job - go and convince the Egyptian Pharaoh to release the Israelite slaves who’ve built Egypt.
Moses responds, “Uh, me? I’m not your guy.” I would have said the same. “Why will Pharaoh listen to me? Why would my own people follow me? I’m not even a good speaker!” Moses knows he’s unequipped, uneducated, unpersuasive, and unwelcome, and there’s the tiny reason he left in the first place (he murdered an Egyptian…).
God doesn’t argue with Moses. He doesn’t pump up Moses’s self-confidence (you can do it, Moses!) or remind Moses of how capable he is. He doesn’t downplay the enormity of the task or convince Moses that it’s easier than it seems.
“I will be with you, Moses.” “I am who I am.”
God’s response to Moses’s doubt and fear is the reminder that God is with him and that God is God. This is what Moses needs. This is what we need. God is going to get to the details; He will tell Moses exactly what to do. But the equipping and the doing is not the first thing — it is the with-ness of God that is first.
So often—in pretty much every situation—I want God to make the HOW and the WHY ME clear before I start. “But God, I’m not the person you’re looking for.” “But God, I’m afraid.” “But God, I don’t even know how I would start.” I want God to speak to those inadequacies, to convince me that I am capable of doing what He asks me to do, on my own.
He does so much more, friends. Thank God He’s not satisfied to just give us tools and wish us well. He is asking you and me to do impossible and unreasonable things. Often, without assurance that we have the exact skill set required already or that there will be no pain along the way. What He grants us is far superior - Himself.
May we lean in to the wonderful and hard things He asks us to do today, rejoicing that God responds to our inadequacies with Himself.