He was just sitting on a stump and watching sheep. That’s all. Pretty boring. He had not seen this as a career option when studying in one of the world’s most prestigious universities. But I think it is safe to say that later in life, Moses looked back with gratitude on those days. Without this first wilderness experience, it is unlikely that there would have been a second, and successful, wilderness experience. The Psalmist sang, “He has made known His ways to Moses…” (Ps. 103:7). How? Where? In the wilderness. A dry and desolate classroom. Degrees from this school are not highly sought after but they are highly regarded. You may only see sheep and wild terrain where God wants you to see Him instead. It’s in the wilderness that God made of Moses a leader and a servant. And it is in the wilderness that He will do the same for us. Development and maturity are not an events. Time in God’s classroom is necessary.
Moses spent almost two thirds of his life in that school and he eventually saw in the wilderness what others could not see. He saw God. The Psalmist goes on to say in that same verse (Ps. 103:7) that “He made known… His acts to the people of Israel.” Of course, Moses saw the acts of God too but He saw more. The people saw what God did – “the acts”. Moses saw Who was behind “the acts” and came to understand the “ways of God.”
Even during the first wilderness visit, Moses did not just see a burning bush. That was not uncommon in a dry and desolate place. He saw more. He saw a bush that would not stop burning and he stopped. In that moment God revealed Himself to Moses and sent him back to Egypt. Moses had always wanted to free his people but Moses couldn’t. Only God could. And He did! He did it through Moses.
We get angry with the mountain in our path. Finding it insurmountable, we try to tunnel through or walk around it. Only God can move that mountain. We question what God is doing today as well as what He has told us in the past. This was not the path we chose. Perhaps it’s not a mountain but a messy mire you’re stuck in – family, marriage, boss or colleagues – and you cannot find your footing. You think you’re wasting time, spinning wheels, in the wrong place, detoured… and cannot see that God has you where you belong. Maybe it’s time to stop and look. Somewhere nearby God is waiting to reveal Himself to you, show you His ways, and give you direction but only when you are ready. And that will not be until you have seen and heard Him and learned His ways for you. Not your way – His way – will lead you over that mountain and through that mire. Being by thanking God to love you enough to put you where you need Him and where you can get to know Him and then wait. Listen as He builds you, develops you, and trains you for what’s next!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!