His Presence Is the AnswerDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Moses said to the Lord, "You have been telling me, 'Lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. ... If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people."
I recently made a not-so-pleasant discovery. I was in my office, hunched over a stack of crumpled pay stubs, invoices, and receipts, when I suddenly realized that I had earned less money than last year. This was not happy news for a self-employed person.
Predictably, this realization prompted a flurry of questions and panicky prayers. Should I start looking for a traditional job? I asked God. Should I try to eke out more freelance work? What's your plan for me?
The more I prayed, the more specific my prayers got. Tell me what to do, I pleaded. Give me a sign; show me which steps to take.
Moses had similar heart-to-heart with God when the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness. Things hadn't been going particularly well for the new leader. Not only had his people crafted a golden calf to worship, they were also grumbling non-stop, pestering Moses about where they were headed, and blaming him for their miserable existence.
Frustrated, Moses laid it all on the line with God. He demanded specifics--"Who will you send with me?"--as well as a clear strategy--"Teach me your ways."
God heard Moses' plaintive questions and his yearning for specifics, yet he answered in a way Moses likely did not expect. "My Presence will go with you," the Lord assured his devoted leader, "and I will give you rest." In other words: "I will be with you, Moses. So don't worry about it."
Like Moses, I didn't receive detailed instructions from God the day I blurted my panicky prayers. Instead, I was reminded of God's promise to his people, the promise he made to Moses in ancient times, the promise he still has for us today.
We may want the step-by-step plan, but we get something even better, something that will carry us through even the most challenging circumstances. We get God's presence.
God is who he says he is: Emmanuel--God with us.
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:
Can you think of a time in your life when you desired a specific plan but felt God's presence instead? Do you see a connection between God's presence and rest? How might the knowledge of God's presence with you lead to rest in your own life?
Gracious God, so often I yearn for clear, concise answers to my prayers, yet it's not a plan, but your presence, that is the guiding light in my life. Thank you for being Emmanuel, God with me. Thank you for keeping your promise to be with me always. Amen.
READ THE PASSAGE IN CONTEXT:
Moses said to the Lord, "You have been telling me, 'Lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, 'I know you by name and you have found favor with me.' If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people."
The Lord replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"
And the Lord said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."
Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory."