When the Lord saw that [Moses] turned aside to see, “God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”Exodus 3:4-12, 4:1, 10, 13-17
Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, “The Lord did not appear to you.”
But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”
But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do.”
Moses had the privilege to escape into the mountains to avoid the oppression happening in Egypt. His life was peaceful, maybe boring. It was quiet. It was a time of healing. It was a time of rest. It was a time of waiting. The oppression was and is still happening. Fine, he is scared and uncomfortable because God is speaking out of a burning bush. Moses had spent so much time away from others, he may have forgotten who he is because of the lack of relation. God doesn’t reject his fear; God says I will be with you. Fine, that might not feel enough because Moses is insecure and knows his weaknesses. God doesn’t mock his self-awareness; God equips him. Fine, Moses is still afraid and feels not enough. God doesn’t ignore Moses’ core pain; God says I am in control, trust me. FINE! Moses is still afraid. God doesn’t give up on Moses. God works with what he has and gives Moses a helper.
Fine. I am scared. I am aware of my inadequacies and my discomfort. I feel in my core that I am a coward and a fraud. I feel like I am culpable for the transgressions. I feel that I have not done enough. It feels a little too late. It feels like walking into a battlefield where people might not trust me and might hate me. I feel like someone else will do a better job. I feel like I still don’t have enough to know if I will come out alive and well at the end.
And to all this, Stop. Stop focusing on myself. Stop focusing on MY needs. Stop focusing on what I can do. How do I hold onto my identity as a child of God, equipped and sent out by God?
Focus on the oppression. Focus on the black lives that have been killed. Focus on the black lives that are always at risk. Focus on the families that have been destroyed, that might be destroyed. Focus on the evil of police brutality and white supremacy. Focus on the lives that have been murdered. Focus on the heartbreak, the sorrow, the grief, the anger, the injustice of it all. Focus on the task at hand: to upend the system for the sake of the least of our brothers. Meditate on God’s sovereignty and justice. Meditate on his ability to flip tables and destroy temples. Take a step at a time. Who are the helpers? Who can I help?
Prayer: God give me the courage to live like you love me and I am an instrument of your love, justice and power.
Character: Where am I focused on my discomfort and lacks instead of the task at hand that God has so clearly given you?
Grace: Remember the resurrection.