The Great I Am
This summer, I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to serve on staff at Hope Shores. This ministry has meant so much to me, and since I was hired around six weeks ago, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the summer.
This past weekend, we had a staff retreat up at camp. It definitely generated even more enthusiasm in me for the summer ahead, but also brought forth some doubts that previously felt distant. What if the kids don’t like me? What if I can’t answer their questions? What if I don’t grow as much as I hope to?
In the wake of these uncertainties, I am reminded of one of my favorite sermons I’ve ever heard, on Exodus 3:14 and 34:6-7.* In Exodus 3:10, God calls Moses to go to Egypt and bring the Israelites out of slavery – a pretty big mission, if you ask me. And, as I probably would have done if I were in his shoes, Moses responds with doubt, asking, “who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (v. 11) But God does not see fit to respond to Moses by reassuring him of his own capabilities. It’s not, “but Moses, you’re so wise,” or, “but Moses, you’re such a good leader,” but instead, God answers by saying, “I will be with you.” (v. 12)
This Scripture refocuses my perspective on the coming summer. It is my prayer that I will not hope for reassurance in my own abilities, but rather than I will allow my insecurity to be restored and my incompetence to be redeemed by the Great I AM.
Compared to our fully holy, fully able God, my own abilities look pretty negligible. But to know that the assurance modeled for us in this Scripture can be ours when we acknowledge our inadequacy before God is the ultimate kind of freedom. Imagine the relief Moses must have felt knowing that the fate of Israel did not rest in his hands, but rather in the hands that hold the earth and crafted the stars.
The song “Great I AM” by Phillips, Craig, and Dean echoes this sentiment, declaring, “who is worthy, none beside Thee, God Almighty, the Great I AM!” Praise God that even when we are not, He IS.
Kendall Bradley, Hope Shores staff
*Sermon by Pastor J.D. Greear of the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina (the church I attend at school) http://www.summitrdu.com/message/i-am-exodus-346-7-314/