Why Did You Send Me?Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Then Moses went back to the LORD and protested, “Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people, Lord? Why did you send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh as your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to your people. And you have done nothing to rescue them!”
In Exodus 5, Moses and Aaron approached Pharaoh, asking that he give the Israelites a short reprieve from their work so that they might hold a festival to honor the Lord. Predictably, Pharaoh responded negatively. In fact, he punished the Israelites because of what Moses and Aaron had done, which angered the Israelites. So Moses, no doubt feeling confused and betrayed by the Lord, complained to him, asking “Why did you send me?” (v. 22).
What Moses and Aaron experienced as leaders is quite common, actually. Though the details may differ, leaders of change almost always confront negative reactions. I experienced this time and again in the church. I remember one time when, in order to improve the flow of a worship service, I moved the offering from its usual place. One man was furious with me. “You prohibited me from worshiping God through my offering,” he insisted. Even such a relatively small change was traumatic for him. I felt disheartened, even though I believed I had done the right thing.
Even when, like Moses, we’re doing God’s will in bringing about change, we shouldn’t be surprised when people become angry with us. We may very well echo Moses’ complaint to God: “Why did you send me?” In situations like this, turning to God in honest prayer restores our confidence. It reminds us that transformational leadership is never easy, and that we cannot do it alone. But if we seek to please God above all, and if we rely on his strength, then God will use and bless our efforts, even if they don’t turn out how we had hoped.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you ever experienced a reaction to your leadership similar to what we read in Exodus 5? What did you do? What enables you to remain steadfast in the face of complaint and criticism?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, you know how discouraging it can be when our leadership begets negativity. Sometimes the very people we’re trying to help are the most critical of our efforts. This is hard, Lord. You know that, of course, because you’ve experienced this very sort of thing from your people for centuries.
Help us, Lord, when our leadership is poorly received. Give us the humility to examine what we’re doing, to make sure we’re pursuing the right course. Give us wisdom to make any changes that are warranted. And then, give us confidence in you, so that we might continue to be faithful as leaders, for your sake, no matter how people might be unhappy with us. Amen.