There aren’t many times in my life where I can say I was genuinely afraid. As a kid, I was afraid of the dark, the beast in Beauty and the Beast, Santa Claus coming down my chimney, fire, and public speaking. As I grew up my fears became rooted in reality, and were a little harder to face. Afraid of not making the team, afraid of not making friends, afraid I wasn’t good enough, afraid of someone breaking into my house, afraid of running alone, even in daylight. These fears were all tangible: there was legitimate loss, pain, ramifications for my future if any of these things occurred. These fears were grounded in what could happen and how badly it would hurt me.
As an adult, married, with three kids, my fears are about trust. Do I trust that the Lord will provide? Do I trust that He will protect my children? Do I trust that he will give grace where I lack? Do I trust that he will give me a hope and a future? And most basically, do I trust that he is who I know he is for everyone else, for me?
I know he redeems, I know he makes beauty from ashes, I know he blesses those who trust in Him. I know he makes our dreams come true when we glorify Him. I know he speaks to us, and we should listen. And I know the sound of His voice, and I know his persistence.
I also know the sound of doubt, the sound of shame, the sound of fear, and that is where I have been for the past six months. There has been a stirring in my heart, followed by several peoples’ words calling this stirring out, followed by His word telling me to go and do, yet I sit here. All of the things have fallen into place, all of the doors have opened. I just don’t want to walk through them.
What if his promises are not true for me? What if I made up all of the things that I heard him saying through people, through His word, through the doors? What if its all a ruse to get the burning in my chest onto pages and then have it amount to nothing?
He has called me to write, yet I remain on my couch staring at my phone, avoiding the keys of my computer, so I can’t find out what is out there for me. He has given me thoughts, and commands, and a gift of writing, and the gift of a desire to put words onto paper, yet I remain afraid.
There is real fear here, but it has been put in place to block my words that might glorify him. My words that might save a mom and rise her up, and take back the kingdom of her heart. My words that might give insight to unnamed feelings in a girls mind that she can’t defeat. My words that might bring glory and honor to the one who is all mighty and promises to be with us to the end of the age. My words that might redeem someone who feels unredeemable.
The Lord called Moses and he begged for someone else to take his place. He spoke audible words to the God of our world, and the Lord spoke back. And yet, Moses’ fear blocked his ability to believe that he was the chosen one, he would redeem a people, and he would be someone we’d read about today and know not to be afraid.
“But Moses protested again, ‘What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, The Lord never appeared to you?’” Exodus 4:1
It was like I was reading my own story in print, like the Lord had written it just for me, like Moses and I were kindred spirits, begging not me, not me. I don’t want to be the one who’s called to something I may not be capable of doing. Not me, Lord, not me.
“Then the Lord asked Moses, ‘Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak and I will instruct you in what to say.’” Exodus 4:11.
The Lord is so frustrated with Moses’ continual denial of his power to work in Him. The Lord has shown him three miracles to show the people, so they can believe in Him and follow Moses. But I think he is also showing Moses that he is almighty, he is powerful, even the physical world obeys his commands. And if the physical world obeys his commands, then why can’t Moses believe that he will be taken care of? Why can’t Moses believe that he will not fail, that he will bring his people to redemption, that he will do what the Lord called him to do? Why can’t I believe that after all I’ve seen him do that he will be with me, and he will provide me with the words to say?
As I read this passage, I heard the Lord saying to me “Now go!” The Lord has to be greater than my fear. I have told so many people that, I’ve proclaimed it to be true, for everyone else. And, in this venture, I will proclaim its truth for myself, for my life, for my calling to write. The Lord has made me a writer and I will no longer beg him to call someone else. I will go, and he will “be with me as I speak, and will instruct me in what to say.”