One of my favorite examples of people in the Bible whose weakness became their strength was Moses and his lack of eloquence in speech. It’s hard to believe that Moses—the liaison, the messenger, in between God and the Israelites– ever had a weakness. He was almost fearless at times in his confrontations towards the Israelites. These people were not always easy to approach let alone please. But only because of God was Moses able to be what the Lord wanted him to be.
I have also struggled with speech, specifically public speaking. And although many people have told me that I don’t look like I am nervous speaking in front of others, I can 100% admit that it is an ongoing fear of mine. I’ve come to God about my fears and weaknesses and have expressed to Him my desire to overcome. I’ve also had multiple conversations with friends and family about how our fears and weaknesses hold us back from doing the will of God. For example, I know of someone who has the desire to travel to a certain country which I believe will influence her to see what God could potentially have planned for her in the future, but she fears she will stand out too much and doesn’t want to go through the process of not being able to communicate with the people knowing that they don’t speak the same language as she. Unfortunately, when we allow our weaknesses to consume us, we miss out on the opportunity to see God’s glory and power and how He can help us not only seek Him but even overcome.
As I have been reading through Exodus, I related to Moses’ weakness. And so I wondered as I was reading through his life, when did he reach the point of fearlessness? I can see clearly how an amazing leader Moses was by God’s glory. But how did he reach that point? When did he realize that God really would be there for him?
When reading Moses’ life, we must keep in mind that God choosing Moses as the representative of the Israelites means that God knew who Moses would become even though Moses himself did not know at the time he was asked. When Moses was called, he gave typical human answers. As the conversation goes on, Moses says to God, “’O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue’” (Exodus 4:10 NIV). And of course God responds with a mighty answer: “’Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say’” (Exodus 4:11-12).
When we are called to do something, God is fully away of our weaknesses, and so He will help us. But sometimes, it’s not always easy for us to think that we can reach the point of where Moses ended up. Eventually, Moses pleaded with God to send someone else to speak on behalf of God. So the Lord sent Moses’ older brother Aaron to do the speaking (Exodus 4:13-17). For some time, it was Moses and Aaron confronting Pharaoh. Later, I realized that Moses did begin his part of the speaking. In Chapter 8, it seems to be the first encounter recorded where Moses was doing the speaking, and from then on, he was unstoppable!
In 2 Corinthians 12:10, it says, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (NIV). Our human nature leaves the door open for a multitude of weaknesses. Some of us struggle with speech, others with money, and so on. We all have things that prevent us from getting stronger. But reaching a point of strength is not from our own work but from God. Moses couldn’t do anything without God except obey. And with His reassurance, encouragement, and strength, Moses was able to reach the highest point necessary to glorify God.
As I continue to almost daily speak in front of my students, each day, I must remind myself that it is not only time and practice that is assisting me in overcoming my weakness but it is God. For Christ’s sake I can delight in my weakness. There is no reason to pity myself or think that there is no way the Lord can use me. No! The Lord can use anyone regardless of what weakness they have because He will give us strength to overcome.