Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Starting Over: It's Not as Easy as It Seems

I don't know if you've ever stepped away from the life and work with which you were comfortable to do an entirely new thing, but I have. 

It's not as easy as it looks. 

This morning, I read in Exodus about Moses' return to Egypt after forty years in his personal wilderness. He had been comfortable shepherding Jethro's flocks. He knew how to do what must be done, and he was skilled at it. 

I know about being skilled and comfortable in your work. It's hard to give up the sense of security it gives.

Shepherding people was an entirely different matter. Demanding their release from Pharaoh was a task that seemed doomed from the start, and Moses felt unqualified. He didn't want the job and he repeatedly asked God to get someone else.

I know about being uncomfortable in the new work God has planned. I've said, more than once, "I can't do this. You should call someone else."

From the beginning at the burning bush, God told Moses it would be hard. Pharaoh would not want to let the people go and God would have to force their release. 

"I'll do miracles that convince everyone. The Egyptians will give you their treasures to get you to leave. This will work out." (Leanna Paraphrase) 

I've heard "this will work out", too. It not much comfort when you're desperately trying to find your way.

No matter what God said, one thing was clear. Moses didn't want the job. The obedience he offered was half-hearted because he felt so unqualified. In the end, God sent Aaron to do much of the work He had called Moses to do.

What Moses couldn't see was that God had prepared him to the do the work. Moses had spent his first forty years living in the Egyptian court as the grandson of Pharaoh. He was familiar with the court and its ways. More important, he had been trained in leadership. 

Moses had spent another forty years in the wilderness. He knew how to manage livestock and how to survive in the wilderness. 

It's easy to forget that our journey through life is part of God's plan. Nothing is ever wasted. We serve a God who is more than able to accomplish what He intends. Even with us.

Moses, at the age of eighty years, returned to Egypt with every skill he needed to accomplish the work God had given him, but he refused to believe it. God could take the skills He had already placed in Moses to accomplish exactly what He intended. All Moses had to do was obey each step of the way.

When we, like Moses, move out of our comfort zone, we tend to see the uncomfortable, but we fail to see the detailed way God has equipped us in advance. 

We see the monumental task but we fail to realize the smaller steps along the way that will get us there. 

Like Moses, I'm in a new place. Writing fiction was not what I had planned to do with my life, but here I am. Struggling to make sense of point of view and character development. Agonizing over balancing emotion with story, depth with detail. It's harder than I thought. I know I'm not qualified. I'm pretty sure I can't do it.

But God. 

Our Lord reminded me again today that He released the children of Israel with one miracle at a time. It took one act of obedience after another to accomplish their deliverance. 

In that same way, this job is a series of tasks that, when completed, will make a whole. My job is to develop one character at a time. One scene at a time. In the end, the parts will make the whole.

Perhaps you, too, are called to a task that feels overwhelming. Maybe the job God has given is far too big for you. 

He has called you to a God-sized task.

Take heart. Our God is in the business of preparation. He will equip you to do that to which He has called you. All you have to do is obey, one step at a time. It may take longer than you'd like, but He will accomplish that which He has planned.
In case you missed one of this week's posts, here are the links:    The Importance of LightA Little Good News: Working Together,  Things I've Learned: There is a God and I'm Not ItCutting Down a Tree and Praying for Miracles, and The Tree That Preached a SermonThe Wounded Deer and the Unsaid Words, and Being Angry Without Sin.

#chronologicalBible #obedience #JesusChrist #authorlife #iamwriting #preparation