Friday, February 18, 2011

Let's call it a "Moses Moment"...

Moses wasn't the only guy in the Bible with stress, but he often comes to mind when I think about my own stress.

I can see it now: Moses freaking out when the interesting phenomenon he went to investigate turns out to be the God of his forefathers demanding him to go back to the place he ran away from and "set his people free." Yeah, I would argue with God too.

I can just imagine poor Moses as he's walking up the steps to Pharaoh's place for the first time, muttering to himself. "This is crazy. Why am I doing this again? This is not going to be fun at all. Why am I doing this again? This is crazy..." He looks over to Aaron. "Why are we doing this again?"

Then I can see him walking up the stairs for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th times as well. Staff in hand, message from God prepared. Past proofs of God's might and power behind him... "Why am I doing this again? Can I get a new career plan please? *deep sigh*" And he takes another step along side Aaron.

Before the Passover. Before the Red Sea. Faced with a people on the verge of revolt, wanting to run back to the hated Egypt at the first sign of hardship. "Why am I doing this again? *sigh* I miss my sheep... Maybe I could slip away in the night... When do I get to retire again???" And he looks at these same people, and from somewhere he is filled with a compassion that causes him to stand up to God again and argue, this time to prevent God from killing them in His anger... "Oh yeah. This must be why I'm doing this..."

And He ever moved forward.

I think Moses could win most stress contests, hands down.

So on days like today, when I just want to hide in my bed and wait for Feb and March to be over with and just start over in April, when I go to school in the rain (that of course stops as soon as I get to school), when I hide in the bathroom crying because I just can't deal with anything well today, when I look at my calendar and see no days of rest for a very long time, when I feel like a failure, when I cry out over and over "Why am I doing this again?"....

I try to remember perspective. My stress is small. I'm not being asked to lead an entire nation. It's not anything big or powerful.

When I cry out in fear, because I know my weaknesses, and all I can see is me making messes and not being able to clean them up. When I remember the fact that I am NOT a good missionary, and wonder "why in the world was I called to do this job again???" When I'm afraid of people and relationships and messiness. When I stand at the base of the stairs, looking up, and all strength drains from my legs...

When I get a call telling me that the Jr High School I'm working for is requesting me for another year because they like me, and would I re-consider quitting the company? And my heart aches, because I have already committed to the church, but I had been wanting to be able to stay at the same school for more than just one year, to watch the kids grow and change. To be with them longer. To love them more...


I remember.

It doesn't matter how small I am. God is bigger. It doesn't matter how weak I am. God is stronger. It doesn't matter how many mistakes I make. God's grace covers them. It doesn't matter how stupid or inadequate I feel, God has a plan. It doesn't matter how painful or difficult or stressful it is now. God is calling the shots.

All I can do is trust. And move forward. And stop looking back...

Today was a bad day. There were good things in it. But over all, it was just one of those days. I'm sure Moses could empathize. I pray tomorrow I can stop looking at all the obstacles and just move forward in trust. I pray for the strength to make it til April. I pray for the grace to have a heart that reacts in trust and not in "murmurings."

"Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Mat 11:28-30

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