Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Learning from Moses

So Deuteronomy 34:7 says Moses was 120 years old when he died. Before God called him to any sort of action, Moses waited 40 years... in the wilderness... with a flock of sheep... wandering aimlessly. And then, boom! A burning bush and God sent him to deliver the Israelites from slavery.

I'm can only imagine what was going on in Moses' head those 480 months of wandering. I bet for awhile he fought off memories of killing the Egyptian (Ex. 2). Maybe he wondered if Pharaoh would ever find him or forget about what he'd done. Perhaps he thought he'd be a shepherd the rest of his life. I wonder if that bothered him or if he was satisfied with it. But I imagine every time he'd try to convince himself he was content, the image of the Egyptian beating the Hebrew would pop into his mind and anger at the injustices would ensue.

4 months. That's how long I've been waiting for direction. Nothing compared to Moses, granted, but I believe I've had some of the same feelings. In an attempt to reach contentment, I've found myself pressing towards nirvana - trying to remove my desires, tricking myself into wanting nothing (which I'm convinced isn't what God wants). Like Moses, I know things aren't as they should be. I've seen injustices done in various developing countries around the world. I've read blogs, watched videos, viewed photos of hurting, abused, neglected, hungry, thirsty, dying people nationally and internationally. I've been livid when it appears justice doesn't prevail. I've been broken when I read statistics of orphaned children. I've been down-right infuriated when I hear about human trafficking. Ahh! There's just an infinite amount of brokenness...

I see so much need in the world, and while I only have one life to offer, I want to give it. I want to act. I want to do something. I want to make a difference. I'm willing to travel the world, to sell everything I own, to -gasp- wear dresses or skirts every day if need be. But I find myself in Champaign, Ill.... in the middle of corn fields... in a college town... wearing the only pair of jeans I own every day... looking for a job...

If you've read any of my previous posts, you know I moved here to be part of a church plant, Confluence Church. And, I want to be clear, while I'm here, serving the Champaign-Urbana community with Confluence is my purpose. God is moving in this city, and it is a privilege to be serving Him in this capacity and partnering with Him in this work. Truly humbled.

I just know this is temporary. I don't know if it's temporary like Moses' time as a shepherd, the 40-years-type of temporary, or if it's temporary like 1-2 years, the you-don't-have-an-income-type of temporary. But I do know this: Even in the temporary, God meets me. Even in the waiting, He shows up. Even in the longing for more, this is enough.

Reading about Moses encourages me. I'll wait as long as I need to wait, and I'll know there is strategy and purpose in the wait and timing. (deep inhale, slow exhale -- this is not easy.)