But Moses said to the Lord, "O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." Then the Lord said to him, "Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak." But he said, "O my Lord, please send someone else." Exodus 4: 10-13 (NRSV)
Janice Hagood LeMaster comes from Alabama. Several years ago, at the request of their small church, their minister led them through a Bible study that offered insight into energizing and growing their congregation and helping members to take on new leadership roles. However, at the end of the study, no volunteers stepped up to accept new or expanded responsibilities. With every meeting and discussion that followed, Janice was more convinced that they needed more people to take on leadership roles. One thing she knew for sure: She would not be one of the volunteers. As a very shy person, Janice's comfort zone is the back row. Her face flushes and her hearts races at the thought of leading a Bible study or even a planning meeting.
Though her challenge was not as great as the one Moses faced in today's reading, Janice could still identify with him. (Me too!) Her different approaches to God's gentle nudges included ignoring them, suggesting other people who were much better qualified, and finally begging, "Please , Lord, not me."
In the end, Janice led the intentional faith development team for six years with a superb group of people who made the work much easier than Janice anticipated. When we follow God's lead and give thanks for opportunities to grow in faith, God can use us in ways we never expected.
Prayer: Dear Lord, open our hearts and minds to serve wherever you need us, in Jesus' name, amen.