By Pastor Royston Smith
When I think of Moses, my grandmother jumps into my mind, a little woman, gutsy and full of faith. She did not have much, yet she inspired us all to aspire, strive and achieve. To her, the sky was our limit and maybe not even. Not well-off, yet she was the local Food Bank- miraculously, providing food for the hungry and destitute. As the village ‘psychotherapist’, she provided emotional and social support for the hurting. Affectionately known as ‘Auntie Sister’ my grandmother was passionate about social justice. She stood up and spoke out for the oppressed. Her ministry ended at 80 years old, what a legacy!
What’s in a number? Moses started his ministry at 80 years. He had a pivotal encounter with God at the burning bush. My images of him include that of a man leading millions of freed Jewish slaves across an open desert; and an elderly statesman holding up his walking stick as the water in the Red Sea is spectacularly divided so his travelling companions can cross over unhindered. Another image paints him praying and God providing Manna (Bread) from Heaven for the starving Israelites. A final image is a Moses occupied from morning till evening mediating and settling disputes. Moses was audacious, brave and courageous. As the first Civil Rights Leader, Moses confronted and challenged Pharaoh to release the Israelites from oppression. He did this without regard for his own life.
Had Moses remained a shepherd in Midian, he would hardly have had a footnote in the Exodus. He was a master of excuses, which he used to declare himself unfit, ill- prepared and inept. All told, he made five of them. First, he noted that he had a credibility issue and that he was not good enough “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). Moses was implying that he had no credibility. Next, he pleaded ignorance, he lacked sufficient intelligence. Third, he said, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” People would not believe me. Moses raised another objection to God: I’m a terrible public speaker, (Exodus 4:10). Finally, Exodus 4: 13 He said, “Oh, Master, please! Send somebody else!” I’m not qualified.
God’s responses to Moses attitude is classic. He refused to look at his inabilities, flaws and credibility. For every excuse Moses conjured God provided an irrefutable response. His staff was turned into a snake and back into a stick. His hand became leprous and then was restored. His brother became his spokesman. Miracles after miracles Moses’ protests were shredded. Moses recognized his limits against an unlimited God. If we see ourselves as nobody special, then that is exactly what we will become. Our creator God never made a flop. He has plans for each of us that far exceed what we are experiencing. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). We were made for greatness. Using his power God demonstrated to Moses that if he trusted and put his faith in Him the Exodus was guaranteed.
Susan Gales said. “Never underestimate yourself or your abilities. Errors are steppingstones that will take you from where you are to where you want to be.” To accomplish great things, we have to learn to challenge ourselves, be willing to move beyond our present situation and unearth the capabilities that reside within. Be unafraid, refuse mediocrity and become a trendsetter. Combining self-awareness with care and thought will enable you to bloom wherever you are planted. Each of us has unlimited potential. Within us, there is promise, there is talent waiting to give birth. The battle isn’t between you and others; it’s between you and yourself. So, rise up, unleash your potential and allow the Divine Almighty One to use you! Auntie Sister’s life’s story continues to inspire her descendants four generations on, despite her having been deceased for over 10 years. The lessons of the Exodus continue to motivate and teach that God wants to use us to accomplish great things.
Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me that in your eyes I am somebody special. When I’m doubtful and fearful please help me to see through your lenses. Thank you for your enabling power, through the name of Jesus. Amen.