When things get busy, going away doesn’t naturally sound like a good idea. But sometimes breaking away is exactly the right thing for me to do. Last week, on a deer hunting trip to the mowed wheat and stubble fields east of Pasco, I had a chance to reconnect with God in a powerful way.
I left Seattle in a gray haze of soggy weather and metaphorical NOISE in my life. I was frustrated with things happening at church. I was overwhelmed with things happening with the business. I was feeling inadequate in my studies in Greek. In short, I was feeling low.
Ironically, I had been reading about Moses and his leadership on the nation of Israel in preparation for some teaching I was responsible with to Bethany’s pastors. The thing that impresses me every single time I read about Moses and his interactions with God in the book of Exodus is that though God called Moses to lead Israel out of captivity, Moses didn’t feel quite adequate enough for the job. He says “God I can’t do it!” Twice in Exodus 5, Moses turns to God, the God of the universe, and says, “I can’t do it.” And God’s response? Moses, you can do it, not from your power or ability, but because of MINE. You can, God says, because I AM. The very character of GOD is what allows us to do His work…not our own power and significance. Good stuff eh? And the beauty that strikes me every time is that Moses takes his grievances to God Himself. When Moses is angry or confused or self-conscious, he talks to God directly. He doesn’t run. He doesn’t hide. He doesn’t stuff his life with unhealthy vices. No…he is vulnerable with God. And that picture of intimacy makes all the difference.
Walking around the wheat fields this week, I took my grievances and disappointments to God. Walking through those fields, a 30.06 rifle slung over my shoulder, I had hours to communicate with God. And like Moses, our great model of intimacy with God, I took my questions and complaints to Him directly. I was feeling frustrated with things with the church and I told God about it. “God I can’t do this! You called me to this and sometimes I feel so alone!” etc. etc. It went on like that for hours, me walking through the fields crying out to God. And though I didn’t get the benefit of a bush becoming enflamed in fire like Moses did, I did feel the peaceful presence of the Lord with me. After two days of coming to God, I began to feel better. It was like a small voice said, “Scott, you can, because I AM. Your power comes not through your own strength, but through Mine.”
I am clinging to this promise right now. Our infirmities aren’t meant to discourage us. They are meant to turn us to God in hopeful obedience. You can, because I AM. Our ability is grounded in God’s character. Which means that though struggles arise, we can confidently labor on, take our pain to God Himself, and be confident that things will work out.