Lately I have been feeling a little like Gumby. Not physically, although I really need to get to the gym; I probably can’t even touch my toes anymore. Ha!! I am talking about spiritually. It seems like the Lord just won’t let me get comfortable. Just this week, I got that familiar burning in my chest, coupled with anxiety when a thought popped in my brain that had all the characteristics of coming from the Lord. My immediate response was ABSOLUTELY NOT! No Way! Unfortunately, I am starting to learn that when that’s my knee-jerk reaction, it often means that I will absolutely be doing it. Can any of you relate?
There are many examples of individuals being stretched in Scripture. Aren’t you glad we can read their stories? One of my favorites is Moses. In Exodus 3, he is minding his own business tending sheep out in the wilderness, when he sees a random bush that is on fire but not burning up! Turns out, the bush is none other than Almighty God Himself who begins talking to him. Crazy! Moses has no idea what is ahead of him. He is about to be stretched big time. And his first response was no, nope, no way, yada, yada, yada… I don’t know about you, but I can totally relate to Moses’ response. He gave God about as many excuses as he could, but ultimately, He took on the task of being Israel’s deliverer. And the rest is history.
When I was reading over this story again, I noticed something. In Exodus 7:14, When Moses went before Pharaoh, God told Moses and his brother Aaron 8 times to stretch out their hand so they could perform miracles before Pharaoh, that would show His power ultimately leading to the Israelite’s deliverance. It was God’s power at work, but Moses physically had to stretch his hand out in faith to perform the miracles.
The more Moses stretched out his arm, the more God displayed his power and glory to the Egyptians and the Israelites. He does the same way with us. We stretch outward, but at the same time we stretch upward to Him, because He is our strength. When we step out in faith and allow him to take us out of our comfort zones, He will lead us places we could never go on our own. It’s usually scary and uncomfortable, but at the end of the day, it is always worth it.
And when all was said and done, and God had delivered the Israelites, Moses never forget that it wasn’t by his strength. I’ll leave you with his own words to the LORD after the Exodus.
Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them. Exodus 15:11-12 (ESV)
If the Lord is calling you to stretch out, do it! His power is at work in you! You just have to obey.