March 9, 2017

Exodus 33:13 “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

This verse reveals why Moses was pleasing to God. He was human and imperfect like us all, but he sought to know more of God, to press in closer to Him. The responsibility of leading the nation weighed heavily on him, and he was extremely aware that he was unable to do the job right in his own wisdom and strength. We tend to forget that Moses was past 80 at this point. He had lived enough of life to know what he could do and what he couldn’t do, and he had learned that God’s help was absolutely essential. The sooner we learn that the better! Any time we feel responsibilities are more than we can handle, we would do well to remember Moses. He grew up in privilege, but then tried to achieve a good goal in his own strength at age 40 and failed miserably, and then spent the next 40 years doing a low-level job that was totally removed in every way from his upbringing. Then, God stepped in and gave him the very assignment that he had tried to do on his own, but this time God was in control, and miracle after miracle happened. We need to learn what Moses knew at this point, and place closeness to God as our first priority in everything.

I’m not 80 yet, but I’m pushing 70. God brought me to Japan, “the graveyard of missionaries,” and planted me in the very town where the first Christian feudal lord was 450 years ago. I have tried to evangelize and disciple the people, but with very little success to this point. A few years ago God told me to “rest, relax, rejoice.” I’m still learning how to do that, but at the same time I need to learn better how to respond to His leading in the “good works he has prepared for me to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) I’ve just been told my teaching load at Nagasaki Rehabilitation College has been reduced, which was a shock to me. Rather than be anxious over the loss of income, I need to seek the Lord for what He wants me to do with the time. His plans are good, and give me hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Father, thank You for this reminder. Much has been going on in recent months, and some of it hasn’t been much fun. Help me keep my eyes on You, remembering practically, and not just in theory, that You are Lord, and You don’t allow anything in our lives that You can’t use for good. (Romans 8:28) Help me recognize Your plans for me and rejoice to participate, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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