In middle school. I ran track. I wasn’t very good. I know this because my coach always placed me third on the relay team. He also put me in long distance, which didn’t work out and hurdles scared me. Besides shot put and long jump, sprinting was my other option.
For one particular race I was lined up with the others in the starting blocks. I felt like I was ready and in position but when the gun went off I moved in slow motion. Everyone else was in their lane, trekking down the track and I was still in the blocks left in the dust.
This new year looks like the start of new race. January is a time of new goals, one-word focuses and going after new things. Four weeks in and some of us feel overwhelmed and ready to reconsider our direction.
“I can’t do this!” we tell ourselves. Our ambitions and goals are defeated before we’ve even got in a lap.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
I’ve been looking at the life of Moses and he did this, too.
He talked himself out of doing something significant and of value even when God had called and equipped him with the tools and know how to do it. The big moment came and Moses said, “Lord, please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:12)
Moses let his insecurities, doubts and fears override God’s plan for him.
Let’s think about this for a moment.
- God placed Moses strategically with a caring, nurturing start with his mother and siblings. Moses experienced their love and devotion for their God.
- God moved Moses to the palace where he received knowledge of the Egyptian rule, laws and language. Moses learned for 40 years how leadership and managing lots of people worked in a governmental body.
- When Moses saw injustice, his overzealous sense of justice and anger landed him in a heap of trouble and he fled to the desert.
- For 40 more years, Moses lived in the desert. He learned how to survive and manage the resources of the desert.
God knew what He was doing in approaching Moses. “Hey Moses, it’s time to go save my people!” God had prepared Moses from the beginning.
- He knew the inner workings of Egypt’s laws, government and city.
- He was literate and educated in the Egyptian language.
- He knew how to live in the desert.
So why, when God said, “Go!” did Moses say, “No.”
Moses’ own insecurities and fears got in his way.
He told himself, “I can’t do this!” before he even started.
In our lives, what is God asking of us? And is our I-can’t-do-this voice stopping us?
For me, I have let that inner voice of fear and insecurity stop me from leaving the starting blocks.
I have come up with my own excuses for why I am not enough or can’t accomplish what God is calling me to.
- I don’t have the time.
- I’m not good enough at _____________ (whatever… you fill in the blank.)
- What if I fail?
- I won’t be able to do it as well as others.
- It won’t make a difference. Who will even notice?
- Other people are better equipped than me.
And we find ourselves right where Moses was, “Lord, please send someone else.”
God did answer Moses’ plea for someone else by sending Aaron, Moses’ brother to help him.
But Moses wasn’t off the hook and God didn’t give up on him.
Through encouragement and God’s assurance and presence with Moses. Moses did it.
Moses did it afraid.
And that’s what we have to do.
Fear can keep us in the desert — the place we run to when things get hard.
But even in the desert, God teaches and prepares us. He wastes nothing.
And He doesn’t leave us there.
He calls us to new things, new adventures and new places beyond ourselves and our abilities.
- He has prepared us for this from the beginning.
- He has good things for others and we are the ones He is using to bring that good stuff.
Moses asked, “Who am I that I should go?” (Exodus 3:11)
We can ask that same thing, Who am I?
And God’s answer to Moses is the same to us.
Exodus 3:12: “And God said, “I will be with you.“
For all the questions Moses asked, God had an answer. Moses was over complicating things while God was reassuring him with words of encouragement. He does the same for us.
If you’re fighting insecurity and feeling you’re not enough,
God is with you!
If you’re feeling alone and struggling to make it,
God is with you!
If you’re afraid to step out and make changes,
God is with you!
Those plans, ideas and finish lines are not so far away. God is with us at our starting line whispering, “We’re goin’ make this happen because I am with you!”
Ready, Set, Go!