Walking Through the Unlatched Gate!
Read: Exodus 3:6-22; Exodus 4:1-18
I was sitting on the patio swing this morning. We had finished our outdoor work. My husband called from the front yard. He told me that the first rose of the summer had opened and wondered if I would like to come and see it. I did want to do that, but there was a slight impediment. The gate which encloses the backyard was latched from the outside. The solution was of course simple. My husband who had locked it could just as easily unlatch it, and that's what he did.
That little incident brought a thought to mind. It is something that we who belong to Jesus often say. "Where God guides, God provides". However, though those words are true and they are easily spoken, when push comes to shove, don't we sometimes forget the profound truth of that often-repeated phrase? Is it any harder for God to give us all we need to accomplish His will than it was for my Husband to open the gate for me? Isn't that what God does when He asks us to do something? We look and see a latched gate. When we consider the Lord's task for us, often all we see is what we lack, and we believe there is too great a chasm between our ability and what He wants us to do.
On the other hand, the Lord sees the gate open. We forget that the One Who is directing us is the One Who both closes and opens doors according to His will, Revelation 3:7-8. Let's look at Moses as an example of someone who wasn't focusing on God's provision, but who was, merely looking at his own resources. In Exodus 3-4, we learn that Moses and God have a different vision of Moses' future. Moses had spent 40 years in Midian. His life was no doubt rather ordinary at that time. He was a shepherd. However, at the time of God's choosing, Moses was commissioned by the Lord to do something very different. Instead of sheep, Moses was told that he would lead people. Those who had been enslaved in Egypt were about to be rescued, and God told Moses that he was to be their leader. God promised victory for Moses. He had unlatched the gate, and it was time for Moses to bring the people out.
To say that Moses lacked enthusiasm is an understatement. Even after God assured him that He had seen the pain of the people and that He had heard their cries, Moses was not emboldened. Even when God reassured Moses that He would be with them, Moses was still reticent. Moses continued to focus on his own inability and God countered with awesome truths about Himself. He was Israel's covenant keeping God. He was the One Who gave people the ability to speak, and He would speak through Moses. He was the One Who would be to the people all that they would need, and He was the One Who would do miracles through Moses. Even so, Moses finally made his true thoughts known. He wanted God to send someone else. What I find fascinating is God's response. No! Moses was the one God chose, and even with the way he dragged his feet, God still wanted him to go and deliver His people. What's wonderful, as we read exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, we see how God worked beautifully and mightily through this reluctant man. What a reminder that even someone who didn't begin a task with enthusiasm, by God's enabling, can be used in unexpected ways by the All-powerful God. All that was required was for Moses to walk through the gate that God unlatched for him each day.
Back to the rose my husband wanted me to see. Its name is Dr. Brownell. It is a peach rose with a lovely soft fragrance. The only reason I know that is that when my husband unlatched the gate, I walked through it so I could enjoy it with him.
Throughout the scriptures, God gave tasks to ordinary people. Some were large, and some seemed to be less challenging. However, there has never been a command that the Lord gave a person that with it, He also didn't give the resources to carry it out. Back to Revelation 3:8. I love the fact that the One Who unlocks each latch for us is also the One Who knows we have little strength. Usually that fact would disqualify a person from a great task. How different it is with God. Rather than such a limitation being a problem for Him, it is our opportunity to work in tandem with Him, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Matthew 11:28-30.
Thank You Lord for not only unlatching gates for us, but for also strengthening us each day as we walk with You through them.