Thursday, October 10, 2013

Who Am I?

I had one of those, "Wait a minute!!!" moments while spending some time in Acts this morning. I was reading through Stephen's speech to the Sanhedrin in chapter seven. I hesitated just a bit when I got to his description of Moses in verse 22: "Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action."  I specifically zeroed in on the part about him being powerful in speech. What? Wasn't this the guy who told God in Exodus, "I have never been eloquent... I am slow of speech and tongue"? What gives?

Pausing to give it some extra thought, I reminded myself that all Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit and can be counted on as being true. If the writer of Acts said that Moses was powerful in speech then he was. Simple as that. The explanation, then, must be that Moses simply did not see himself as God did.

Maybe he did not have much self-confidence. He did tell God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" That question doesn't exactly smack of confidence. Or maybe the confidence he did have had been tied up in the privileged life he used to live. Did he falter when his dwelling switched from a palace in Egypt to a tent in Midian? Is my own confidence (or lack of) connected to my material station in life? This is certainly something to consider.

Another possibility for Moses' distorted view of himself is that he simply had not learned to fully trust God. When he asked God, "Who am I...?", the Lord had assured him that He'd be with him. He had given him a step by step commentary of what to expect, and had even given him miraculous signs to perform. Thinking on this, it is pretty amazing how much the Lord was working with Moses here! He had a plan for Moses and fully intended to help him fulfill it. Yet Moses still hung back. Why was it so hard for him to trust God and do what He wanted him to do? Why is it so hard for me ?

I included the above picture with this post to illustrate the point I'd like to make. The birds in some of our local Metro Parks allow us to hand-feed them. Well, some of them do - but not the cardinals. There have been reports of a few people successfully feeding them by hand, but it is not usually the case. The day that this picture was taken was particularly blustery. We stood for many chilly minutes waiting on this beautiful cardinal to eat from my daughter's hand. He really thought about it! He hopped closer and closer, eyeing the food in her hand that would fill his belly. How we wished he would come! In the end, though, he was not trusting enough to come any nearer.

I feel like it can be the same with me and the Lord! He is before me with an outstretched hand full of the good He has for me, and I am afraid to come too near Him. I know He has things for me that will nourish my spirit, yet I stubbornly cling to my feelings of fear and unworthiness. How sad.

Father, You are good. Forgive me for the times when I fear the route that your goodness will take to work in my life. Help me to trust You more and more, joyfully accepting whatever comes from your hand. Feed me, Lord! Draw me closer and closer to Yourself, that I might walk intimately with You in an unafraid manner. Free me from everything that puts distance between you and me, that I may worship You. Help me to see myself the way that You do - as Your chosen and dearly loved daughter. I love You. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.