Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.
The story of Moses is one of my favorites from childhood. I imagined him as a superhero, cape and all, commanding pharaoh to release the Hebrews, in a fearless booming voice. However, the Bible describes him very differently at the beginning of Exodus. Moses had a weakness. He was afraid to speak to people. Right after God speaks to him from the burning bush asking him to speak to Pharaoh, Moses tries to talk God out of it.
Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11. Later, in Exodus 4:10, he describes himself as “slow of speech and slow of tongue.” Is this the same Moses who is later used by God to bring the plagues to Egypt and part the Red Sea? Was he just an ordinary person with weakness just like you and me?
Being a shy person, I can relate to Moses’ fear of public speaking. I come from a long line of shy people, starting from my grandma who described herself as “painfully shy” when she was young. In high school, the thought of public speaking sent me into panic attacks.
When I first felt the call to write a novel, I thought, this is the perfect job for me. I don’t have to talk, right? Wrong. I learned very quickly at my first writer’s conference that speaking is necessary. I found myself terrified once more. What? I have to talk to editors? I have to speak in public? I felt like Moses, asking God, “who am I?” Was this really God’s plan for me?
I love the Lord’s response to Moses’ excuse of being slow of speech. He said, “Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say,” Exodus 4:12. God required Moses to step out of his comfort zone and trust Him. During the conference, I realized that God required the same thing of me. When I turned it over to Him, he gave me what I needed. He sent friends to pray with and encourage me. Then he gave me the courage to speak, and the words to say.
No, Moses wasn’t a superhero, but God was able to do extraordinary things through him. He wants to do extraordinary things through us too. We just have to muster the courage to trust Him.
Thank you for reading and keep shining for Him!
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