“After forty years had passed,
An angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush
In the desert near Mount Sinai. . .
Then the Lord to him,
“I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt.
I have heard their groaning
And have come down to set them free.
I will send you back to Egypt.”
Acts 7:30, 33-34
He’d been born a slave, but all of his early memories were of living as a son in the palace of Pharoah. Having run for his life from all that he had known, he had spent the last 40 years out in the desert with sheep. It had never been Moses’ desire nor plan.
I’ve had dramatic changes in my life, but nothing as extreme as Moses lived. Yet there are those times when I look around, thinking, “How did I get here?! This isn’t the way I’d ever imagined it!”
Then, comes the “WHY?!” question. That answer will never fully come while I’m on this earth..
Little did Moses know what was ahead for him. Dramatically going from the palace, living like a king, to decades in an unfamiliar desert with no survival skills must have worked in every aspect of Moses’ mind and heart. The desert does that to you, especially when you’ve never lived in one before.
When God Called me to the Sahara Desert in 1999, I had NO experience in desert life. Having lived my life in Wisconsin, the dramatic (traumatic) experience of going unprepared into the Desert, I had no clue of how to handle life there. But being there for extended times for decades changed my life. It changed me.
I can only imagine what the desert years did to Moses. From a palace to a shepherd’s tent . . . from royal banquet meals to goats’ milk, fire-grilled flatbread, meat of camels or sheep/goats, and water. From servants at his beck and call, to being alone with animals for months at a time in a vast desert. The contrast was probably traumatic. He must have had a million questions with lots of time to ponder.
His Royal training in national leadership was now the preparation for leading, protecting, and feeding shaggy, wayward four-legged’s. Little did he know that the four-legged’s would become a million 2-legged’s. His birth-nation awaited.
When God intervenes in our lives in ways that shock us . . . scare us . . . nearly destroy us, we are forced to look UP. When everything else is gone, we are compelled to grab on to Him as we never had to before. We cannot re-create “what was.” It is the time to focus on Who He Is, and begin the long journey of walking through each day with Him. Grieving “what was” slowly becomes “what is,” and a new step in a new journey begins. Perhaps these are the hardest steps you’ve ever taken, with the least sense of clarity you’ve ever felt.
Clasp tightly to His Hand. Step with Him (often carried by Him…) and learn the lessons all along the way. There is a Reason. It took a 40-year “waiting space” for Moses to learn his desert lessons, with no knowledge of why.
We are able to see many of the “Aha Moments” Moses may have never seen about his own life. “Huh???” may have been his theme. From our vantage point in history, we can see how God used all those seasons in Moses’ life to prepare and shape him for what God had planned. The Plan, unbeknownst to Moses, was historic.
He is doing the same in each of our lives. We don’t have the Timeline He is following. There is often more “Waiting Space” than “Aha’s!” But they will come, in the end. The Waiting Space will begin to unfold like the petals of your favorite flower. Hold tightly to Him throughout the unknowns…the waiting.
You will come to love Him even more.