I had a wobble last week worrying about the responsibility of writing this blog when I am not a perfect ambassador for God. It’s not like I have any massive skeletons in my closet or anything but I wondered if I was good enough to represent the church and write scripture-based guidance when I struggle with my own Christian journey at times. I wanted to get off the bus!
Then I was reminded about the imperfection of some of the Bible’s main characters and how they were used greatly by God nonetheless. The message was further hammered home when I attended our Youth camp event last week. It was the last evening and we were all dressed up as Disney characters. My pastor turned up as Mr Incredible but his evening message to the kids was about the times we feel less-than-incredible. He spoke about the wobble Moses had when he was spoken to by God from the burning bush.
Moses came up with every excuse as to why God shouldn’t choose him to help the Hebrews in Egypt (Exodus 3:11-4:10). I’m a nobody? What would I say? What if the Israelites didn’t believe me? What about my lack of eloquence and speech impediment? He didn’t mention the fact that he had also killed someone years earlier (Exodus 2:12) but I am sure that was also in the back of his mind. He ends up with one last ditch effort to get out of his calling, “Oh Lord, please send someone else to do it!” (Exodus 4:13)
Moses had been the first person I was reminded of after I had my own wobble, and then Abraham who lied about his wife, saying she was his sister to save his own life. Of course, there was also King David, the adulterer who had his pregnant lover’s husband sent to the front line to be killed in battle. Moving to the New Testament, we find Peter, having spent 3 years as one of Jesus’ closest followers, denying knowing Him at all, not once, but three times after his arrest.
Even so, God uses all of these people and they are held up as good examples throughout scripture: Moses is considered faithful to The One who appointed him (Hebrews 3:2), Abraham’s faith is credited to him as righteousness (Galatians 3:6), David is referred to as a man after God’s own Heart (Acts 13: 22), and Peter helped establish the early church. Those same Old Testament characters are also referred to as Types of Christ, foreshadowing Jesus through their lives and/or actions and Peter, like Jesus, was crucified for his faith. Their stories and characters, whilst individually unique, together all point to Christ.
So, if like me, you have the occasional wobble and doubt your calling, you are in good company. Moses straight up told God to look for someone else!
If you, like me, have the odd crisis of conscience and worry that your life doesn’t measure up against your fellow Christians, then A) DO NOT compare yourself to others, you are you, unique, created by God with your own purpose, character and story that has the potential to point to Christ, and B) NO ONE (apart from Jesus) is perfect!
If you use your imperfection as an excuse to not follow God’s calling, you will forever stay at the station waiting for something in you to change before you get on the bus, telling God to look for someone else in the meantime. What you actually need to do is embark on the journey God is calling you to, letting Him do a work in you as you travel with Him.
It’s the experiences we gain throughout that journey and the strength those experiences give us that helps us grow and mature spiritually. Each step forward takes us further away from where we were in our old selves and closer to the person God is moulding us to be.
Wobbles are inevitable on our Christian journey, but they’re not a time disembark. Maybe you need to stop at the bus station and stretch your legs, pick up some snacks, read a book, have a nap, change your destination...whatever it takes to follow God’s calling, but get back on the bus. you have places to go!