Variable – For the Long Term

One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”
When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am!” Moses replied. Exodus 3:1-4
Working for the same place for over twenty years teaches you something. In my case, a lot! I am eternally grateful for the help many of my peers and supervisors that have worked with me, and as they have been patient, they have seen continuous improvement in my job. About a decade ago, I was convinced there was not much more that I could do either better or more of. That was my being naïve to how far I could be stretched and what ways that I could get better. They say experience is the best teacher. The next ten years would certainly prove that. Now, I have a different kind of confidence. While I am clearly the best I’ve ever been, I no longer see it as the best I could ever be. Circumstances change, and one of the great economic theories (The Theory of Cost) that applies to life as well is that in the long run, everything is a variable cost. Before you jump the gun, the time I am referring to here is human time because in the spiritual sense God controls time and as such, God is always fixed (never changing, always the same, utterly dependable, etc.). For us, we are ever changing and evolving toward greater understanding not only of life but also God.
We must always acknowledge that our understanding of God today is fixed, but we grow to become exponentially variable. Today’s verse begins a journey on the life of Moses. I have been drawn to this story over the past month or two, and my understanding of his life has grown. However to avoid having a dissertation in one devotion, I am opting out to just touch on the moment God is reaching out to Moses. I mentioned how experience is a great teacher, and studying the life of Moses to this point is a clear perspective on God’s prep work. Moses was supposed to be dead by order of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, but God put it on the heart of the Hebrew midwives to allow boys like Moses to live (see Exodus 1:15-17). He should have been a slave, but was raised by Egyptian royalty. “The princess named him Moses, for she explained, “I lifted him out of the water,” as written in Exodus 2:10b. As I wrote this, I couldn’t help but feel the connection to the Samaritan woman at the well with Jesus asking, “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water?” (John 4:11). Moses could have looked away from the Egyptian beating a Hebrew, but instead avenged the beating by killing the Egyptian, which led to him fleeing Pharaoh (Exodus 2:11-15). He thus had had the classical story of the kid from the streets who would be King but became a fallen hero.
That’s where today’s verses finds Moses. He had wandered aimlessly to be resigned with being a shepherd (side note to self: Shepherds (Christ) make great leaders). Then, God merged His fixed timetable to Moses’s varied life of ups and downs to prepare him for to lead the Israelites. In life, we all go through peaks and valleys seemingly not knowing what to expect. However if we are grounded on the foundation of Jesus Christ, we know this is part of the long term game. God is changing us for His future purpose. Our goal is to let the experience lead us toward responding how He would want us to.
God is not done with us yet. Each day is an addition to His plan for our lives. Our goal is to let each day and moment allow us both to reflect on what lessons God wanted us to learn and to apply His teachings. Let us embrace each day as a new revelation to what God has planned for us. Where did God stretch you previously in your life? How can you better embrace future challenges as part of God’s plan? My prayer is that we recognize that while today’s situations may be fixed, God’s infinite wisdom is growing us to be variable. Amen.
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About Kent:
“I am what all Christians are: flawed and always growing. I am not immune to failure, and I don’t always do the right things, but I learn from my mistakes, and always show love to all who I know. Furthermore, through Christ I have joy knowing I have His grace even though I didn’t deserve it and His love even as I can’t imagine it. I have written devotion for the past 14 years using my life’s experiences both before and after being born again and focusing on its relevance to Biblical teachings and today’s culture.”

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