Sep 17, 2008

You couldn't possibly mean us.

So I have a new favorite verse. Exodus 4:13. You probably won't find it on a Dayspring greeting card anytime soon, but I find it encouraging. One thing I love about the Bible is that it doesn't refrain from showing humanity in all of our... well... human-ness. No sugar-coating here.

When talking to her about our serious doubts and our desire for God to just make his plan crystal-clear (i.e. an email outlining the next 5 years would be nice), my friend Kineta pointed me to Exodus chapters 3 & 4 where Moses encounters God at the burning bush and oh-so-graciously handles God's request for him to go and do something difficult with not one, but five, excuses and reasons why he cannot.

Let's look at those. They all seem pretty legit to me, but that's probably because I use them frequently myself.

Moses' Reasons Why God Must Be Wrong
1) I'm not important enough to go. God, this task clearly requires someone a bit more prepared. (3:11)
2) What if they want to know who sent me? There is a high probability that they'll think I'm crazy when I tell them it was you, God. (3:13)
3) What if they don't believe me? After all, as I mentioned before, they'll think it is crazy if I tell them it was you. (4:1)
4) This job seems like it would involve a lot of talking and convincing, and that isn't really a skill I have. You'd probably be better off to choose someone who is better at it. (4:10)
5) His last-ditch effort: Lord, I just don't want to do this. Please send someone else. (4:13)

I think reason #5 was probably the core of all his other reasons. In our humanity, we can often "spiritualize" our lack of desire and willingness, so reasons 1-4 have a lot of false humility, some fear, and questions about preparedness, but it probably boils down to reason 5. Moses just didn't want to go. Our ability to spiritualize these things doesn't fool God, but we can fool ourselves, which leads to a lot of confusion.

And that's where we find ourselves. Confused and doubting. Perhaps the main reason we wrestle with this decision so much is that we just don't want to do it on many days. I also love how in 3:12, after Moses asks for a sign, God basically tells him after you do this, then you'll worship me on this mountain. God's sign is only coming after Moses' obedience.

To be painfully honest, that's not usually what I'm looking for when I'm asking for a sign... and I'd be dishonest if I didn't admit that I'm still holding out for some really obvious pre-obedience sign... but, it is encouraging to be reminded that an absence of a burning bush doesn't mean that one has strayed from the will of God. (Thanks to my friend Kineta for pointing this out to me -- it was the original reason she told me to read these chapters.)

And, so we resist the urge to change our circumstances just because they are uncomfortable. And we continue to press forward. And, I hope that you do the same in whatever faith journey you are on.

Thank you, blogging world friends, for all the encouraging comments you left for us and emails you sent after that last post! They really did bless us. We're still not "through this" yet, but we are seeking with all our hearts to be faithful.

5 comments:

Jill said...

I love, love this post. I will be praying for you and Jacob and your next step. Love Y'all.

Terri said...

Your honesty is so refreshing.
I will be praying for you both.
Something God taught me before coming over there this summer...
GOD DOESN'T CALL THE EQUIPPED, HE EQUIPS THE CALLED.
We are so blessed that HE is faithful!

Her Royal Highness said...

How awesome that you have a friend like Kineta to point things like this out... that's true friendship :) Count yourself as very blessed to have that type of friendship.

Also - thank you for your honesty and willingness to be so open on your blog. As another post says, it's refreshing :) It helps me - and I hope it helps you work through those feelings and be reassured of Him calling you to this work.

Jill said...

Hi Carrie~

I just printed this post. :) I'm going to read Exodus 3 and 4 tonight. I love the little outline you wrote of these chapters. You could really write a devotional book. Thanks for sharing.

Jill

The Byrd's Nest said...

Oh I also want to thank your friend for pointing us in this direction. That is what I love about scripture....we are exactly the same as those in the Bible. Disobedient, unsure, love being in our comfortable bubbles but yet finally allowing God to give us a good push and then there we are....walking on water! I love Him!

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