It’s been a rough week for me. I have a lot of things that I want to be doing – things I really should be to doing. But it has been difficult for me to accomplish much. I am very thankful that my paralysis has also been accompanied by a lack of sensation. I really have not had to struggle with a great deal of pain – at least ongoing, unrelenting pain.
This week has been an exception to my norm. For some reason unknown to me this week has literally “been a real pain in the neck.” Additionally, my new computer, which has been terrific, was somehow damaged while I was using it at the VA Medical Center in Richmond. I needed to make arrangements to return for a total backup and repair. So it might not have been the best week to decide to change the host for my blog… I’m thankful I had worked in advance on Sunday sermon!
I have the opportunity to fill the pulpit on several occasions this summer and am preaching on highlights in the book of Exodus. We will be considering the way that God reveals himself to Moses and to his people as LORD. It seems that Moses also faced difficulty and trouble in his life and ministry. After getting off to a really bad start which resulted in 40 years in the wilderness of Midian, God renewed Moses’ calling and announced that he would be used to deliver God’s people from the slavery of Egypt. Embracing his tasks with new enthusiasm and vigor, Moses was immediately faced with discouragement and disappointment. Not only did he encounter rejection from his own people, but Pharaoh king of Egypt (reigning world power) scoffed at his message. Instead of procuring the people’s release, their suffering was intensified and work load increased. Again, Moses was rejected by his own people.
Exodus 6.1 reports a conversation which the Lord has with Moses. The Lord begins by saying, “Now you will see what I will do…” Moses had to learn that in the completion of the charge/success of the mission which the Lord had given him was not ultimately dependent on his own efforts, but on the Lord’s action. God would deliver his people Israel from their bondage – not Moses.
Moses was an instrument which the Lord used. Moses isn’t the only one who needs to learn this lesson – I do too. I suspect it might be beneficial lesson for many others. The Lord delights to use difficulties, the weaknesses of the servants and seemingly hopeless – impossible circumstances to accomplish his purpose. God has called us to participate in his work and to that end he clearly demonstrates that the success and glory belongs to him. His power is made perfect or complete in our weakness.
The Lord had the same message for the apostle Paul and for us:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12: 9 –10, ESV)