I am Moses

Welcome my friend, Nali Hilderman, history professor at San Diego Christian College, as today’s guest blogger. I recently attended a wonderful women’s mini-conference she presented and asked her to share some of her insights with us.

So often when I read the Bible, I read about the characters passively as though they are stories from long ago and I cannot really relate or identify with them.  However, there are times when I identify clearly with the thoughts and emotions they seemingly had.  One such person is Moses.  I often read the story of him as a prince of Egypt—something I cannot identify with at all, or as a shepherd—also non-relatable, and even the story of the burning bush is one that I cannot relate to all that much.  There was a time however, last fall, when I clearly identified with the thoughts and feelings Moses had right after God’s call on Mount Horeb and the Burning Bush experience.

God had appeared to Moses and commissioned him to go to Egypt to rescue the Israelites from their Egyptian oppressors.  That scene is incredibly beautiful and powerful as Moses comes face to face with the God of his ancestors and is tasked with a mission that will turn him into one of the greatest loved Bible figures of all time.  I love the tete-a-tete Moses has with God in the following sections.  His very first question in response to God is, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” A quite natural response in light of all God has commissioned him to do.  The conversation progresses as Moses asks many questions of God about how exactly he is to accomplish the goal.  One of my ‘favorites’ comes at the end of the conversation when Moses says, “Oh Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoke to your servant.  I am slow of speech and tongue” (4:10).  I read God’s response with both a sense of sternness but also compassion.  God replies, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?  Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (4:11-12).  In a not so bright moment Moses responds, “Oh Lord, please send someone else to do it” (4:13).

When I read that passage last fall I realized that I not that much different from Moses.  Here is my story: I am a professor at San Diego Christian College and I was given the opportunity to speak during a Bible conference in October of last year.  I thoroughly enjoyed that experience of sharing a testimony of God’s work in my life, and afterwards I felt the Lord’s prompting to continue the conversation on campus. After much prayer I felt led to offer a mini-women’s conference to talk about relationships and talk with my college students about rightly-ordered male/female relationships.  That was the “calling” I received from God and I was excited about the prospect.  However, the weekend before the conference I “became Moses” and was filled with fear and doubt.  I thought, “Lord, why me?  I am a 33-year-old, single female, with a string of not-so-great relationships behind me. Why are you asking ME, of all people, to share with these women?  I have no idea what to say or how to say it, or even if I’m qualified to say it.  Please send someone else.”

Naturally, there was no one else to say it since I had set up the conference and after some wrestling with God, much like Moses, I knew that the Lord had asked me to be obedient to His call.  I knew that even if I did not have all the answers that He would give me the words to say and the wisdom on how to say it.  After all, it was His message to those women, not mine.  I wish that time and space would allow me to tell you all the wonderful things that happened at the conference and things that have come out of it since.  It was a beautiful success, not because of anything I did, but because of what God did.

Dear friends, I do not know where you find yourself today, but let me encourage you that if God has tasked you with something to do – be it a lifelong calling or just a daily to-do item – let us no longer be like Moses and doubt, but step forward in simple, faith-filled obedience and let God do the work through us that He has given us to do.