Good Morning Girls!
How many of you leaders have ever stepped out and done exactly what you believe God told you to do only to watch things literally blow up in your face and get worse? You take a HUGE step of faith, and then it’s as if suddenly you’re feeling cursed and you find yourself wondering if you even heard God correctly in the first place.
Two weeks after I started my current job, which I felt totally led by God to take and pursue, my whole world fell apart around me. During a 10-day stretch, one of my mentees had her first bi-polar manic episode, one of my best friends’ teenage daughters downed a bottle of antidepressants causing her to have a heart attack and ending up in a coma in the ICU, and then one of my very good friends and her husband were hit by a drunk driver. By the time of Sara and Chris’ accident, I was emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausted. I literally went from being on a total high with my new job, to being in a deeper pit than I had been in for a very long time. I actually don’t think I’ve been taken from that kind of high to that kind of low ever before. It was horrible. And it was immediately on the heels of taking a HUGE step of faith.
Maybe for you, you took a step of faith obeying the voice of God and your life fell apart, or your own family’s life fell apart. Or maybe your business started to tank, or the house you bought suddenly seemed like the money pit. Perhaps personal relationships suddenly got more difficult, or your kids started acting out like never before. Whatever it was, you believed with all your heart that God had called you to do something, stepped out in faith and obedience, and then things started to get worse (not better) before your own eyes.
I was so relieved the other day while reading the Book of Exodus to know that this isn’t only common, but actually very often the way that things go when we step out in obedience to God’s call on our lives, especially as leaders. I’m currently reading The Message (my favorite translation when reading the Bible in the mornings at home while drinking my coffee).
You likely remember the story well, but let me give you a quick summary of Moses’ call when he 80. God talked to Moses from a burning bush that didn’t burn up and told him how he was going to free the Israelites from Pharaoh’s oppression. (I’d say Moses was SURER SURE that God had spoken to him and called him to specifically go to Pharaoh to ask him to release the Israelites from under his rule.) Having heard God speak clearer than day, Moses obeyed God and did exactly what he was told. My favorite part of this story is what’s next. THINGS GOT WORSE for the Israelites! Remember, the Egyptians were like, “quit your whining Israelite slaves, you think you have time to go and worship your god, well, we’re just going to make this even harder for you. You still need to produce the same kind of results, but we’re not going to supply you with resources any more. You need to go and find them for yourselves.” Not only did life for the Israelites get worse after Moses obeyed God, but on top of that the Israelites started complaining to Moses and asking him to stop trying to help them.
What I love about this story is Moses’ response. He turns right around and goes back to God and says, “hello, do you see what’s happening? You told me to do this and now things are getting worse, not better!” How many times have we stepped out in faith, things haven’t gone the way we thought they would and then we start all together questioning God’s call on our life? I don’t know about you, but I have definitely been guilty of this at times. How did God respond to Moses? By reminding him of his call and giving him clear direction of the next step to take.
As leaders, we need to get into the habit of responding the way that Moses did: turn right back around and go back to the Source of our call and get wisdom from the One who brought us to where we are at. May this week be filled with reminders of our calling from the same God who spoke and created the world, and then spoke and created our call.