Monday, October 3, 2011

Looking into the Bush

Days in the sheepfold stretched out long and peaceful. Moses listened to shy wind in the trees, watched mild sheep graze in long fields. Birds sang and, though his ears always rose attentive for the wolf, he brought his animals in and out in satisfaction. His wife waited at home with a hot meal and his children wrapped their arms around his legs in greeting when he walked through the door. He worshiped God in those days, and lived in as much harmony with Him as exile allowed. God gave him a good life and he lived it in gratitude.

Now, Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the flames of fire from within the bush. God called to him from within the bush, "Moses, Moses!" Then He said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.--Exodus 3:1,2,4,6

The bush burned, but did not burn up. The flames crackled and their heat drove Moses back in fear. Their light hurt his eyes. And it did not extinguish. It lit the desert before him, illuminated Horeb as a backdrop. What moments before had been an ordinary day burned with glory that left him barefoot and shaking. He found no comfort here.

That day, You called Moses to more--more than shepherding, more than father and family, more than content Hebrew exile. You set him on a road that would eventually shred his old life, but one on which he would see you face-to-face.

You do the same for us. The leap we make when we initially set out eyes on Your road and start walking is only the first. At some point, You ordain a second. Some day, while we are peacefully attending our flock, faithfully seeing to the life You have given, studying, worshiping, serving, You call our name and beckon us to more. You set a bush aflame before us, rise up in new glory, and say "Here I AM!"

That day, You call us to worship only You--not an image of You, not an idea of You, not the motion of worship, not a reflection of You. You intend to shred our life, too, and fill the void with Yourself. That is the second moment of decision, and we face it in fear, because You have unmasked Yourself before us.

Thought for today: In what ways is God calling you to more than a well-managed life with Him? Where do you feel the fear of abandoning your life to Him?

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