John Ortberg begins Chapter 1 of The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People with a statement by his childhood hero, cartoon character and philosopher Popeye the Sailor Man: “”I yam what I yam.” Popeye would say this whenever he felt frustrated or had no idea what else to do.
Pastor Ortberg notes that Moses felt the same way when he encountered the burning bush in the desert. Although God had chosen Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Pastor Ortberg surmises that God’s timing must have seemed strange to Moses. Forty years prior- before he’d killed an Egyptian and fled as a fugitive to the desert- would have been a much more logical time. Moses was in the prime of life and had powerful connections. When God called Moses, he was a shadow of his former self.
The author states, however, that God’s message to Moses is also His message to us:
“I know all about that. It doesn’t really matter. For I will be with you. Your guilt and your inadequacies are no longer the ultimate truth about you. You are what you are- but that’s not all you are. You are what you are, but you are not what you will be. I will be with you.”
Following our ministry downsizing or position loss, we are no more at the end of the line than Moses. God has plans for us, and has promised to be with us!