One of my all-time favorite verses in the Bible comes from a story in Exodus. Moses’ story is well known across the world. Marked for death as a baby and surviving incredible odds, he grows up in a life of luxury in the Egyptian royal household. That would all be fine and good if outside his comfortable life his fellow Hebrew people weren’t being horrifically oppressed. After a startling altercation, Moses flees to the desert of Midian and starts anew. By the time we pick up the story, Moses has been living in the desert for so long his life in Egypt is all but a distant memory. God isn’t finished with him, though, and that’s when we get the burning bush.
Moses is arguably more than a little surprised to find out he’s the one God’s planning on sending to Egypt to free the Israelites. Actually, surprised doesn’t quite cover it. He pretty much outright rejects the idea that God could possibly be thinking of sending him. He starts listing every single conceivable reason why God shouldn’t send him and God starts lobbing each one back at him with a cosmic answer. The whole scene is a bit like a spiritual game of tennis.
Finally, Moses pulls out what he apparently deems his ultimate disqualifier: his stutter.
I love this moment because no Bible figure’s mindset has ever made more sense to me at this moment than Moses. That crippling, "I can’t be the right person for the job" kind of insistence that will trip you up every single time if you let it. It may not even be just you yourself constantly saying you’re not good enough. It could be that the world and life just keep beating you down with your own insufficiencies until you start to believe them. I’ve fought that battle since I was nine years old and got my brain injury. Sometimes the plain and simple truth is that it’s just hard to keep trying despite all the ways you fall short. It’s just hard.
But what God tells Moses in response to his disqualifying talk just goes to show the kind of God he is.
“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?” (Exodus 4:11)
It’s that simple and that convicting. I have written out this verse for myself in the past and have challenged myself by adding the words “who makes man’s brain?” Because this isn’t just Moses’ struggle. It’s familiar for so many people, myself included, and so the challenge to believe God is just the same. Was it not God who also made my brain? Was it not God who knew what would happen when I was nine? Was it not God who still calls me every day and gives me work to do in his kingdom?
Don’t bother telling God your limitations. He already knows them and is not deterred. If he’s calling you to do something, chances are he’s already taking your perceived limitations into consideration. Whatever you struggle with, whatever makes you feel small, worthless, and incapable I promise you this. God still loves you, wants you, and has a plan for you. God’s standing at the ready and his hope is marching on.
God doesn’t make mistakes.
And I know, it’s exhausting. Believe me, I know. But you have to understand that your exhaustion is not an indication that it’s not working. It just means the work is hard. It’s really hard, and that’s ok. But that’s also not an excuse.
The things that make your life hard are not reason enough to stop trying.
Your limitations are not imagined or illegitimate. They are not easy, simple or straightforward, but they are not reason enough to quit. God took the time to answer Moses’ fears and insecurities, but he didn’t change his course or ease up. Moses’ perceived limitations were not enough to stop the plans of God and neither are yours.
I won’t tell you that it will be easy or simple, but that’s not the point. Because you’re not doing it alone. God doesn’t take people to the edge of themselves just to abandon them there. His heart is always towards keeping you close to him and his purpose. The same God that was able to use Moses for great and glorious purpose can still use you. After all, who made man’s mouth?
Let’s find some joy,