This morning, my 2-year-old son needed to be changed. He knew it. I knew it. Pretty much everyone who walked near him knew it.
We walked into his room and I pulled together a diaper and his wipes. Then I called him over. He shook his head. I called him again. He climbed up on his bed. I called again. He ran to the other side of the room.
This continued for the next 31 minutes. He knew what I wanted, but refused to do it. For. What. Felt. Like. An. Eternity.
Many of you have been in my shoes before: Wanting a child to do something and the child refusing to do it. You probably have tips for avoiding my predicament. Different strategies and actions that could increase the effectiveness of my parenting.
More to my point this morning, many of you have been in my son’s shoes. You’ve heard God calling. You’ve known what he wants you to do. Yet you’ve refused to do it, sometimes even for an extended time.
You’re not alone. I’ve been there as well. As has Moses, who attempted to avoid God’s call to return to Egypt in Exodus 3-4. In 3:7-10, God told Moses want he wants to do:
"Then the Lord said, ‘I have seen how cruelly my people are being treated in Egypt; I have heard them cry out to be rescued from their slave drivers. I know all about their sufferings, and so I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians and to bring them out of Egypt to a spacious land, one which is rich and fertile and in which the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites now live. I have indeed heard the cry of my people, and I see how the Egyptians are oppressing them. Now I am sending you to the king of Egypt so that you can lead my people out of his country.'”
Face to face with God, Moses looked for excuses.
- Chapter 3, verse 11: “I am nobody. How can I go to the king and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
- Chapter 3, verse 13: “When I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ So what can I tell them?”
- Chapter 4, verse 1: “But suppose the Israelites do not believe me and will not listen to what I say. What shall I do if they say that you did not appear to me?”
- Chapter 4, verse 10: “No, Lord, don't send me. I have never been a good speaker, and I haven't become one since you began to speak to me. I am a poor speaker, slow and hesitant.”
- Chapter 4, verse 13: “No, Lord, please send someone else.”
In 4:11-12, God said to Moses what he continues to say to us who refuse to respond to his call upon our lives, whether that call be to serve the poor, minister to the vulnerable or share our faith with our neighbor.
“The Lord said to him, ‘Who gives man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or dumb? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? It is I, the Lord. Now, go!’”
Now go. Simple words. Will you listen to them today?