Friday, March 16, 2012

Take Your Shoes Off

Moses led the sheep like any other day.  He had spent many hours in the vastness of the desert.  This was just another ordinary day.  At least until the bush started to burn.  Seriously, out in the middle of nowhere, the bush lit up like Christmas (not that he had any idea what Christmas was). 
As I read this passage in Exodus 3, God’s story of Moses became alive.  Moses began his life first hidden in a basket, and then chosen by the princess to be raised by his own mother.  After that he lived a privileged life in the palace.  Now, due to bad choices, he found himself with the sheep in the middle of the desert.  Not that it was bad.  He had found his wife.  His father-in-law was supportive and gave him his job.  Yet, here he was with the sheep and the bush started burning.  Now what?
God’s words in Exodus are almost humorous.  Moses thinks, “I should go check this thing out.  Why isn’t the bush burning up?” You think?  I would think that this is not a normal sight.  God was going to use the extraordinary to get Moses’ attention.  Yet, what I found interesting was that though the Angel of the Lord was in the fire, he chose to be silent until Moses turned to watch. 
I wonder how much I miss because I don’t turn to watch what God is doing.  I have my own plans, my own route, tunnel vision you could say.  What is God doing spectacular that should make me stop and look? 
When Moses stopped, God spoke.  Moses listened.  Now if I understand correctly, God had been silent for quite a while at this point.  It was not a normal occurrence to hear the voice of God or witness his presence.  There must have been something within the heart of Moses that prompted Moses to seek God out and listen. 
One of the first things God said beside Moses’ name, was, “Take your shoes off.  You are on holy ground.”  Really?  He was in the middle of the wilderness, with sheep no less.  Holy ground?  Yet, that is what God said.  He met Moses right where he was, in his job, and God considered it holy.
God meets us right where we are too.  It may feel like a dessert.  It may stink.  We may be wishing for the good old days.  We may be wishing for a better future.  We may be satisfied with the status quo.  Wherever life finds us, God is.  Where God is we find holiness. 
God lay out his plans to Moses.  On one hand, the future looked great for Moses and the Israelites.  On the other hand Moses had his work cut out for him.  God pretty much said he was going to fail.  Pharaoh was not going to listen – until he saw the mighty hand of God.   
I wonder if Moses regretted that moment of curiosity.  Would God have kept silent had Moses kept walking?  His life would change drastically again.  God wanted Moses to see his amazing power, his control over all of creation, and his holiness.  He wanted Moses not only to watch, but to listen.  God was sending him to do an impossible job with a powerful God. 
God met our family in a desert place after Julia died.  We had no burning bush, and we had been blessed to have watched God move before in our life.  Yet, now he was asking us to go into another place, one that was very unknown, one where God was going to have to show his power.  As we anticipate a trial to determine the parental rights of our three foster children, we are in a position to welcome their eight year old sibling as well.   Are we playing with fire, or is that fire the presence of an amazingly powerful and holy God?
God’s words in Exodus still apply today.  I am going to choose to stop, watch, listen, and take my shoes off.   I want God to send our family out to do some amazing things knowing that it is His power that others will see. 

No comments: