Every now and again you see something familiar, a story, character or idea in a new light that shifts your perspective and be either a catalyst of change or even unlock areas of struggle. I had one of these moments recently, the realization was subtle but created a shift in how I see myself, anxiety, and conflict; but first, a little back story.
For some time, I always thought I related (or aspired) to Aaron from the Exodus story. The right hand man to someone else’s vision, mission or purpose. Making it happen for others; finding joy in being behind the scenes, which is not a bad thing. What I realized is if I’m really honest, and really understand the characters of Moses and Aaron a bit better, I may be relate more to Moses than I realize.
See like Moses, I messed up along the way. Several years ago I tried to live my life my way, made some poor choices and eventually found myself wandering around in a desert, running from mistakes wondering if they will catch up with me. It’s in a similar place that Moses encountered God in a profound way that I’ve missed in reading that story for some time.
In Exodus 3.10-11 God calls Moses into a redemptive liberation mission of the oppressed Israelites. Moses, in turn responds in a way I can relate to greatly. He’s anxious. He lacks confidence. He messed up, doesn’t measure up, and is limited.
But the story doesn’t end with Moses’ anxiety. And it doesn’t continue with a self-help course on how to get the confidence-you-need-to-liberate-the-oppressed. He gets something profoundly more than that.
14 Eternal One: I AM WHO I AM. This is what you should tell the people of Israel: “I AM has sent me to rescue you.
— Exodus 3.14, The Voice
God’s response to Moses’ anxiety was not affirmation, nor was it an action plan for success or steps to overcoming is weakness. Gods response was his name, the most epic profound name for God listed in scripture. When you read the Hebrew of what is being said here God is essentially telling Moses my name is “I Will Be What I Will Be”.
Unpacking this meaning we find the essence of what he his saying is:
[that the God that] exists by himself for himself, and is the uncreated Creator who is independent of any concept, force, or entity; therefore “I am who I am” (ongoing).
This was an unlock for me. It was subtle but it was huge.
After some weeks working through struggles with anxiousness, I realized a driver to this struggle was connected to how I viewed God—not ideological or philosophical perceptions, but what I believe about God, what I believe God is and how I believe God is active in my life. (I’ll be writing more on this later.)
What I’m doing with this now is when I seem anxious I think about God. The goodness of I AM. I think about how the uncreated Creator, independent of concept, force, entity, God of gave us the gift of the cross. Try it. When things get hard or stressful or you are tired of feeling anxious. Slow down and ask yourself, “Who is God?”