Do you ever have the feeling that some task or calling is too big for you? It just doesn’t fit … it’s just too big! (This chair was at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum during our visit in 2011 — incredible craftsmanship!)
I can’t climb it, I can’t see my way around it … it’s just too big!
I can’t cross it – it is too big! [Picture of river and flora in Cumberland County, Tennessee]
It asks for skills that I don’t have; I don’t know how to do this task; I am not equipped to handle it. If it were smaller, maybe then I could do it, but this is … well it is just too big! (Picture below was taken in Yosemite National Park)
Have you ever said: “Lord, you must be thinking of someone else! You can’t possibly be asking me to do this! I’m not smart enough, not strong enough, not ready for such a challenge! I love you, Lord, and I want to serve You, but I can’t do what You are asking! It’s too big for me!”
Moses said the same thing when God spoke to him out of the burning bush, recorded for us in the Bible at Exodus Chapter 3. [I confess that the pictures that follow are not of the wilderness facing Moses when this conversation occurred. They are taken in The Badlands National Park in South Dakota; but when I think of a wilderness, this is what I envision.]
God tells Moses what He wants him to do, and Moses’ response might be in different words but the meaning is all too familiar to us because we say the modern equivalent when God directs us to do something that is out of our comfort zone:
“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11
God reiterates the fact that He will be with Moses all along the way.
The conversation continues and Moses says:
“But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you. ‘” Exodus 4:1
God shows His power to Moses to confirm that this was, indeed, what Moses was to do and that He was who He said. Notwithstanding God’s patience in this conversation, Moses responds with yet another objection:
“But Moses said to the LORD, ‘Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.’” Exodus 4:10.
The Lord’s response is that He is fully aware of Moses’s abilities, skills and nature – and He wanted Moses to do this work notwithstanding those shortcomings.
“Then the LORD said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.’” Exodus 4:11-12.
Moses’s options seem to have evaporated – left with nothing else to argue, he gave his final plea in opposition to God’s demand:
“But he said, ‘Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.’ …” Exodus 4:13.
We really aren’t any different than Moses, are we? When an assignment appears insurmountable, we balk, make excuses, plead that the job be given to another, and then pout.
It is as if we were standing before God and stomping our spiritual feet, just like toddlers, while we are saying “I don’t want to!”
Beloved, God is the same today as He was thousands of years ago when He directed Moses to bring His people out of Egypt. When he assigns a job for you to do, even if it is bigger than anything you had ever done, He will prepare you and strengthen you so that the assignment will be done according to His plan.
Consider Isaiah’s vision in Isaiah Chapter 6. When Isaiah saw the Lord sitting upon His throne, Isaiah was confronted with the power, majesty and holiness of God and with that came an immediate recognition of how sinful he was:
“Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Isaiah 6:5
God did not leave him in that condition, however – a seraphim touched his lips with a burning coal from the altar and said that his guilt was taken away and his sin atoned for. Isaiah 6:7 Then, God said:
“Whom shall I send and who will go for us?”
Now that he had been cleansed and his sin removed, Isaiah was able to respond to God’s inquiry with no objections, no excuses, no stalling, no stomping his feet – he simply said:
“Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8.
When we are tasked with something outside our comfort zone or beyond what we think our abilities are, we must trust God to give us the words, to give us the physical strength, and to give us the wisdom necessary to accomplish His purposes in the work at hand. In short, we must trust that the Holy Spirit will work through us to accomplish things of eternal consequence which we, in our own strength, could not comprehend.
So, is there something too big for you to handle staring you in the face? Has God directed that you undertake some task and you are balking at the assignment? Do you want to pull the spiritual covers over your head and pretend God didn’t really ask you to do that thing?
Trust Him. Ask for forgiveness for your stubborn pride, for your refusal to believe that He is able to work through you in this circumstance, for your spirit of laziness in refusing to undertake the project … you can add whatever else is appropriate. Then, be a 21st century Isaiah and respond “Here I am. Send me.”
The job is not “too big” – in fact, it is “just right” when God is in it with you.
Father, May we be modern day Isaiahs! May we hear your call and respond “Here I am Lord. Send me.” May You bless us as we travel our spiritual path in Your Strength, Father, and may we, through the power of Your Holy Spirit, as given to us through Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ, be effective in serving as You direct and enable.