What to do When it all Goes Pear-Shaped

I wanted to write a post on this theme, but couldn’t find the words until I looked at the life of Moses. As a young adult in Egypt, Moses sees a Hebrew slave being mistreated and tries to help by taking things into his own hands. He ends up murdering an Egyptian and being forced to leave the country – not a great start, so he lives in Midian for a while, where he meets his wife, gets married and fathers two boys. That’s the background.

One day, when he’s looking after his father-in-law’s sheep, he meets with God in a very special way (maybe you’ve heard the famous story of the burning bush). God tells Moses that He’s seen the misery of His people and He’s going to rescue them, and Moses will be the one to do it. Moses of course has excuses. Perhaps he’s thinking of his past and the murder when he says: “I am not a great man”, but every excuse he can find, God has an answer for.

As he went with his brother Aaron to Pharaoh’s palace to ask to leave Egypt, Moses must have thought: “Finally! I’m doing what I always wanted – helping my people, and this time I’ve got God on my side. What can go wrong?”

But the Pharaoh had no regard for God. He accused the Israelites of laziness and increased their workload considerably. Not only did they blame Moses and Aaron, they actually said: “May the LORD punish you. You caused the king and his officers to hate us” (Exodus 5:21): Opposition from Pharaoh, opposition from his own people, and the temptation to doubt God.

Following God won’t always ensure that circumstances go our way, but it’s what we do when everything goes pear-shaped that counts. What Moses did was to pray and ask Him about the situation. “Why have You brought this trouble on Your people? Is this why You sent me here? I went to the king and said what You told me to say, but ever since that time he has made the people suffer. And You have done nothing to save them” (Exodus 5:22-23). God, I did everything You told me to do. What’s going on? And what happened after that? “Then the LORD said to Moses” … Letting God in allows Him to give us His take on things, and to strengthen us for the journey ahead.

Moses tells the Israelites about God’s promise to him, but in their discouragement, they refuse to listen and soon, Moses is discouraged right along-with them. “’Surely the king will not listen to me either. I am not a good speaker.’ But” (here it is again) “the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron” (Exodus 6:12-13).

I don’t know all the people reading this blog. I don’t know the situations you’re struggling with, but can I encourage you to let God in?

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