How many times have you felt a great sense of anticipation about something, only to have it slowly evolve into a looming sense of anxiety? There have been several times recently when my conversation with an excited, passionate woman transitions from sharing her Big Dreams to confessing her Big Fears. This is not a new scenario, and I have yet to meet a woman who hasn’t experienced the internal conflict between eager anticipation and anxiety.
With this topic on my heart, I started to write this post to address my own experience and thoughts around this struggle… but then I remembered I had already shared this with another group of women! Please read on to see the guest post I wrote in December of 2022 for the Iron Rose Sister Ministries blog. I would love to hear your thoughts, so comment below or reach out on Instagram!
Iron Rose Sister Ministries serves women around the world, striving to facilitate Christian sister relationships that will be like iron sharpening iron, encouraging and inspiring each other to be as beautiful as a rose in spite of a few thorns. Their resources are created in English, Spanish, and most recently, Portuguese.
“No More Excuses” (originally published on Dec. 15, 2022)
Those who have grown up in the church are typically familiar with the story of the life of Moses. As children, we were told the stories about how Moses was sent down the river in a basket as a baby, how the Pharaoh’s daughter found and raised him as her own, and eventually how God called to him through a burning bush. Moses was called by God Himself to team up with his brother, Aaron, and set the Israelites free from their life of slavery in Egypt. We watched these events play out on flannelgraph boards and colored pictures on paper that depicted the events in happy scenes. Moses did great things for the Lord!
It wasn’t until much later in life that I looked a little closer when reading through the interactions between God and Moses. In Exodus 4, God is answering all of Moses’s questions and hesitations with miraculous signs, but there’s still a sense of hesitation and fear that Moses just can’t shake. The anticipation of taking on such a large role feels overwhelming, and he isn’t convinced that he is the man for the job.
In Exodus 4:10, we read,
“Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
The judgmental side of me wants to yell at Moses: “Are you seriously arguing with God right now? Just do what you’re told!” And then I read the Lord’s response in the next verse.
“The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’” (Ex. 4:11-12)
God basically says, “I’ve got this. I made you to do this big, scary thing. I am with you.” But the anticipation of taking on such a huge task felt like too much for Moses, and he was ready with any and all excuses to remove himself from the responsibilities God was giving him. He kept at it for so long, in fact, that we read about how “the Lord’s anger burned against Moses” (Ex. 4:14), and Moses finally gives in when God provides reassurance that Moses will have his brother, Aaron, to do all the talking.
How many times have I heard the calling of God and responded in fear or hesitation? The anticipation of doing new things can feel overwhelming, and there are plenty of reasons I can come up with to stay in a place where things feel safe and comfortable. I might feel the Spirit pushing me towards something, but surely He just doesn’t realize there is someone else better suited for that task.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (1 Cor. 12:4-6)
What excuses have you come up with lately to convince the Lord that you’re not the woman for the job? Are there tasks you have rejected or ignored because the anticipation of moving forward brought fear or uncertainty?