So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ He said, ‘I will be with you…’ (Exodus 3:10-11)
With good reason did Moses ask his question: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” At face value, God’s request to Moses to battle with Pharaoh made no sense. Pharaoh had an army; Moses had some fickle slaves. Pharaoh had horses and chariots to speed him around; Moses had his gnarly feet to hobble around. Pharaoh’s instincts had been honed in battle; Moses’ instincts had been dulled by 40 years of tending sheep. Moses asked God his question because he was feeling overwhelmed, daunted, and discouraged.
Can we relate to Moses’ feelings? Every day I am hearing from people who aren’t sleeping, coping, or functioning very well. They feel like they aren’t even doing some of the things they know might make them feel better—eating right, drinking less, exercising, or spending less money and time shopping on line.
One of my great heroes in the faith is Phillips Brooks, who was a 19th century priest, bishop, and writer. For years I kept one of his lines before me: “Do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities. Pray for powers equal to your tasks!”
For a long time, these words inspired me until I hit a point in my life when I knew that my abilities were not equal to my tasks, duties, and responsibilities no matter how hard I tried or pushed. In that place of defeat, what can one do but surrender?
Having faith in God we must surrender control, surrender having all the answers, surrender trying to be our own God and Savior. It is from finally surrendering that we can throw ourselves into God’s hands, trusting that He will carry, sustain, guide, and strengthen us.
When Moses asked “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh,” God said, “I will be with you.” What I hear God saying to Moses in these words was this: “Moses, I am going to give you a task that you can’t accomplish on your own, but you aren’t on your own. I am with you. I will never forsake you. With me at your side, Pharaoh loses, slavery is vanquished, and the Promised Land will be yours.”
Today’s hope is this: The promise God gave to Moses as he faced daunting odds, God gives to us. We are not facing this time of crisis by ourselves. God is with us. God will carry, sustain, guide, and strengthen us.
Who are we to face this time of crisis all by ourselves? If we try to deal with this time on our own, we are liable to remain overwhelmed, obsessed with lurid scenarios, and stuck in anxiety. But when we remember that God is with us, even if we can’t always see where or how, then we can face this time with courage and peace, just like Moses finally did with Pharaoh.
- How well are you currently functioning?
- If you are doing pretty well, how come? If you aren’t, how come?
- When you face this crisis on your own, what happens to your hope? When you remember and trust that God is with you, what’s the hope you receive?