Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is Your people.” The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with Your people unless You go with us? What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me Your glory.” (Exodus 33:12-18, NRSV)
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Lord, I know that You brought me here, but...
God, I know that You are at work, but...
Jesus, I know that You have given me this calling, but...
God, I know You've blessed me with these children, but...
Lord, You say that You love me, but...
...This doesn't feel good.
...It's just not working out.
...I feel like I am missing something.
...I must be doing something wrong.
...This is not what I thought it would be.
Without a doubt, we have - and will continue to have - moments like this. Moments where we hold up our hands - full of what God said He would, promised He has, and declared already - and compare it with the opposition found in our current situations.
God, where? God, how? God, what? God, why?
All of these seem to be valid questions... But in the moment, they are merely our doubts and fears masqueraded by lofty inquiries.
We worry that things won't change. So we ask the questions, but do not wait for the answer. We speak our concerns in tones of anger and resentment, but do not linger in meekness for a real response. We prod for reasons, but forsake submission.
In today's passage, Moses approaches the Lord with concerns - but finds himself willing to see the bigger picture.
His initial request: Lord, if you want me to lead these people, I need to know who You will send with me to help me? In short, Moses knew the extravagance of what was before him and he wanted the practical answer to his fears; a human helper. He wanted to know the physical change that God would make in order for everything to "fall in it's place."
Moses wanted a seeable answer. Something tangible. Ever been there?
But instead, God gives him something grand; a divine promise more helpful than any human companion. One that He, too, declares over us. He says, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Notice that Moses didn't ask for rest. Notice that Moses didn't ask if God would go with him. Notice that this does not seem like an answer to Moses' question.
But Moses chooses to dive into it. And in the series of sentences following, Moses states (this is paraphrased, of course): "I need Your Presence more than human help. Without You, no one will know that we are different. We need You. Show me Your glory..."
Moses figured out in this instance something so dire for you and I today.
You see, the why, the what, the where, the how, and even the little who's do not matter. Yes, we think they do. Yes, we believe that filling in these blanks will fix things for us.
But instead of all of this, the answer - what distinguishes our lives from the world - is found in only one divine "Who;" a God whose presence is grander than any unanswered inquiry. A God whose faithfulness may not answer every detail, but will provide rest-filled hope. And a God whose very being will guide, strengthen, and mend us right where we are.
When concerned with answers and plagued with doubts, let us remember the response of Moses; to intentionally choose not to dwell on anything other than our necessity for God.
Let us ask Him to show us...Him - His glory and grandeur; not just what His glory and grandeur can (or should, in our minds) do for us. Today, request for Him to "show you His glory."
Greg, Declare Glory
Today's image by God's Fingerprints: