Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Do I Have To?

“Moses threw it (the staff) on the ground and it became a snake and he ran from it.” Exodus 4:3

But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” Exodus 4:13

Please read Exodus 3:10-4:17

As I was reading through the verses set aside for today in the daily lectionary I started to laugh as soon as I began reading Exodus 4. I knew right away that my devotion for today would be based on this reading. Let me share a story so that you know why.

As the weather has begun to warm up, so have all of the creatures that hide out during the cold months of winter. With this awakening we have begun to find that we have a problem at our home. Snakes!! In our front porch and bushes there appears to be a large nest of snakes. I dislike snakes very much and I am pretty sure I would rather deal with anything else.

The other day when I came home from work, I was relaxing in my living room and noticed the dog checking something out on the other side of the room. As I went to check it out, I realized that one of these many snakes was now IN my living room. My husband was gone at the time so I called him quickly in a panic, not knowing what to do. He told me to find a box and put it on top of the snake to secure it until he got home and could take care of it. ME??? I am not good around snakes, Do I have to??!! Well, nobody else was home and I was the one that had to do it.

I said a quick prayer, found a shoe box, slowly and nervously approached the snake, got the box over the snake and grabbed the Bible laying next to me on the table to put on top of the box so that there would be no way the snake would sneak away. Then I left the house until my husband returned! I share this story now and it makes me laugh, but believe me, at the time it was anything but funny.

In our text Moses is in the presence of God and being asked to go to Egypt and help to deliver God’s people from their slavery. Similar to how I felt about having to take care of that snake, Moses is coming up with many reasons why he thinks this is just not a good idea. First, he does not think that he is worthy of such a task. Second, he says that he can’t talk to the people if he does not know what to call God. Third, he doesn’t think that the Israelites will listen to him and believe that God spoke to him. Fourth, he tells God that he is not good at speaking. Finally, he begs God to please send someone else to do it.

How many times do we find ourselves in a situation of having to do something that we just don’t want to do? As parents, I would venture to say that it can be daily at times. I know that many of us hear our children saying the same thing, “Do I have to? Can’t someone else do it?” Often the answer is no, you have to do this task.

Well, God did not let Moses out of the task that he was being asked to do either. Instead, he promised to help Moses. He assured him that his brother Aaron would be with him and that He would give them both the words to say and teach them what to do. He gave Moses the ability to use his staff to perform miraculous signs.

Somehow through my little prayer, God gave me just enough courage to do what I had to do and cover the snake in my living room. God gives each of us what we need to do the tasks that He has asks us to accomplish. True, we may find ourselves wishing that someone else could do it and surely there are others who would be better at it than me. But, we always have the assurance that God will get us through and teach us what to do.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Please help us through those tasks that we face, both those that we don’t mind having to do and those that we would rather not have to do. Help us to look to You for strength and guidance for all of those difficult tasks knowing with confidence that you will direct us. Amen.

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