This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one word prompt. The prompt today is “excuse.”
“I can’t lead the Israelites. I can’t go to Pharaoh. They’ll never listen to me. They won’t believe you spoke to me. I’m not good at speaking. I’ll get my words mixed up!”– Moses (Exodus 3-4)
“How can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in our tribe, and I am the youngest and weakest in my family.“- Gideon (Judges 6)
“I can’t go to see the King without an invitation. Unless he holds out his golden sceptre, I’ll be killed.”– Esther (Esther 4)
“God, I can’t speak for you. I’m too young.”– Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1)
“We can’t possibly have a child. My wife and I are both too old.”– Zechariah (Luke 1)
There’s something strangely comforting about the number of people who made excuses to God- who were reluctant to step up and take on the tasks he was calling them to fulfil. They were big tasks- daunting challenges- and I can relate to these people’s awareness of their own inadequacies, but do you notice the common theme in all their excuses?
I’m no good, I’m too weak, I’m not capable, I’m too young, I’m too old!
I can too easily fall into this same trap of making it all about me- my ability, my hard work, my courage, my knowledge…
…But really it’s not about us at all, because when God calls, he also equips.
It’s his ability, his wisdom his strength and his power that are going to make the difference, not ours, so really there’s no excuse. It’s not about us acquiring the skills or gaining the confidence or thinking positively. It’s about us looking to him- remembering that with God nothing is impossible, and that his power is made perfect in our weakness.
I’m grateful that God didn’t give up on Moses and Gideon and the rest. He didn’t accept their excuses, and he didn’t look for someone else. He reassured them and reminded them of who would be with them, and then he repeated his call to step out.
If we could only take our eyes off ourselves and fix them on God, remembering his power and faithfulness, I suspect the excuses would fade away, and in their place would be the courage and boldness we need to step out in obedience, fulfilling God’s call.