Day 11

Monday, March 1
Exodus 13:17-15:21

It seems to me that many of us have idealized what it means to follow God’s nudges in our lives. The thought goes that once we finally figure out the direction God is encouraging us to go, we will lose all doubt, have great relationships and finally gain clarity about our life’s direction.  But I have found that instead of being a season of clarity, right after following these nudges we can be riddled with doubt.

My most poignant experience of this was during the first few months of being a pastor. I had left a good job at a local university. I had good benefits, a good salary, the boundaries between my job and friends were clear. Plus I was pretty good at my job. On the other hand, when I decided to leave my job and become a pastor, all of these things got messy. There were days, even weeks, when I wondered if I had made the right decision to become a pastor. I remember all of the doubts. Was I spiritual enough? Was I smart enough? Was I emotionally strong enough? Many times I was convinced it would be better if I quit being a pastor.
Maybe you’ve had those doubts after following God’s nudge before. Maybe you are having them now. Maybe it was when you started a new job or moved to a new city or became a parent or ended a relationship. Scripture and experience tells us that following a nudge from God often comes with doubt and fear.

In the story for today, the Jewish people had just made one of the boldest faith moves found in scripture. They followed God out of slavery in Egypt, but doubt soon crept in. They had food and homes in Egypt. But when they left Egypt, food, housing and safety became uncertain. On top of the fear of uncertainty, they find out that the Egyptian army is after them. They respond by saying in verse 12, “it would have been better for us to work for the Egyptians than to die in the desert.”

But it would not have been better. Those voices of fear and doubt were wrong. God did not bring them out of Egypt to fail. God called them forward in the face of their fear for a promising future.

The same is true for you. You may be staring at the challenges ahead listening to the voice of fear and doubt and regret. Stop listening to them. They are wrong about you.  Instead listen to what Moses says, “Don’t be afraid. Stand your ground and watch the Lord rescue you today.” God is calling you toward a future filled with hope. Do not be afraid. Keep moving forward trusting God and believing in God’s hope in your life.

Prayer “God, today, instead of listening to the voice of fear, doubt and regret, help me listen to your call to not be afraid and have hope in you.”

Reflection by Rev. Matt Fulmer

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