**This is a repost of an earlier blog. I’m not in a place to write a new post right now, and this one has a lot of good to say, especially in light of our nation today. Please read and share, if you would like.**
You really have to feel for the guy. The only known survivor of Pharaoh’s murderous tirade against the Hebrew children. Enduring the identity crisis of being raised a prince of Egypt while knowing his true heritage was out in the plains of slavery. Watching his people being battered and abused. Secretly killing on of the abusers, only to find out that EVERYONE knew about it, and that a death sentence was on his head. Fleeing the only home he’s ever known into a desert world. Stumbling to a well only to have to be the hero in the epic battle of the Midianite girls versus the ruffian shepherds. Doesn’t he deserve a break?
Finally, he gets one. He’s taken into the home of the priest of Midian. He settles down. He gets married. Has children. Becomes a shepherd. Yeah, his life was pretty good.
Then he just HAD to see it.
The bush was on fire, yet not burning. Curiosity being a human curse, he couldn’t just ignore it. I mean, how often do you see a bush on fire but NOT being consumed? He went to check it out. And we all know what happened from there. God spoke to Moses. Told Moses it was time to leave the comfortable life he had and to do the work of the Lord. It meant going back to the one place Moses never wanted to see again.
Can we really blame Moses for making excuses? Moses gave every excuse he could think of, from his social position (or lack thereof) to his previous reputation to even his stutter! And each time, God had an answer ready. Like Moses could sway God’s decision in this – A God who knew Moses’ excuses before Moses even did, yet still was calling him.
Hindsight being what it is, we can sit here and chide Moses for his actions. We think, “Now, really, Moses. God has an awesome plan for you! You’re going to save lives! He’s got this awesome opportunity for you to minister to those in need. Don’t be silly and complacent. Go!”
Oh, the hypocrisy!
Have you spotted it yet? Here we sit and criticize Moses for making excuses, but think about it; are we really any better? Daily we are surrounded – inundated, really – with countless crises for help, and yet we make excuses for why we can’t help. “I don’t have time.” “I don’t have the money.” “My family has too much going on right now.” “I’ve never had that experience; how can I possibly help?” Do any of those sound familiar? I know they do to me, because I’ve heard myself say them. Just like Moses, we fear leaving the comfortable complacency of our lives and diving right in.
One of the biggest underlying factors of our hesitancy, and the root cause for most of the excuses we give, is the fear of being uncomfortable. We do not handle awkwardness well. We think if we haven’t experienced it ourselves, that we will be invaluable to the situation. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Most people who need help are not looking for someone to have had a shared experience. They’re just desperate to know someone – anyone – cares. You don’t have to have been homeless to minister to the homeless. You don’t need to have had a crisis pregnancy to help a woman who does. You don’t have to have an addiction to help someone in the grips of one. You just need to care. It’s that simple.
We sometimes think we have to be at a perfect place in our lives before we can help others. If that’s what you’re waiting for, I have bad news for you: by the time that happens, you’re going to be in a place where no longer do people need help. Don’t let opportunities to minister go by while you’re waiting for the perfect time. In his book Primal Christianity, Mark Batterson states, “You’ll never have enough. You’ll never be enough. You’ll never do enough. But don’t let that keep you from giving what you have, being who you are, and doing what you can.”
We live in a world ripe with need. So many helpless, and all they’re asking is for us to just be us; just as we are, ready to love. If you feel God tugging your heart towards a ministry, fight the urge to make excuses. Know that God wouldn’t be leading you there just to watch you make a fantastic flop of yourself. He’s going to give you the heart to love, grace to cope, and words to say. You just have to be willing and ready. He has hurting children, and it’s up to us to be willing to make ourselves uncomfortable for their sake. Leadership mentor John Maxwell said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” My challenge to you is this: Are you ready for your life to begin?