BY: CHLOE NG
It’s 2:04 A.M. The sky has darkened long ago, leaving only the pale wash of moonlight. Yet, rather than climbing up to my bunk bed and settling down for a night’s rest, I’m sitting in front of a blank Word document, attempting to write an article for To an Unknown God. Vague ideas drift into my mind, flit half-formed through my nerves, sparking effervescently—flashes of brightness, of perhaps-brilliance, of potential that is never fulfilled. My fingers remain still on the keyboard.
It’s 2:31 A.M. I want to write an article about Moses, one of my favorite Bible characters, but all I’ve written is a paragraph about how I’m not writing. With an impatient sigh, I flip to Exodus and reread the familiar words detailing how Moses came to be drawn out of the river by the Pharaoh’s daughter. It was truly God’s providence that allowed him to be saved from the Pharaoh’s decree that all Hebrew male infants be drowned. I recall the dramatic scene of the basket bearing Moses, buffeted by dangerous waves and snapping jaws, from Dreamworks’ The Prince of Egypt. While not wholly accurate, this movie encouraged me to read the Bible for myself as I eagerly pored over every word in Exodus at ten years old. How I came to Moses is, perhaps, God’s providence as well.
Even as I’ve grown older, his story has been one that I go back to time and time again. After joining TAUG, I thought writing an article about what Moses’ story meant to me would be a good idea. I want to write about how he doubted God and was weak and unfaithful, yet he still became God’s instrument in leading the Israelites out of Egypt.
Though the Lord commanded Moses, “’So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt’” (Exodus 3:10 NIV), Moses had replied in doubt: “‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’” (Exodus 3:11 NIV). Even after God has shown Moses His power, Moses still said, “‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant’” (Exodus 4:10 NIV).
But how? I’m no great writer. The black bar on my word document blinking back at me agrees, taunting me at the end of every sentence as if saying, “Seriously? Did you just write that?” The only things I’ve written are essays, pedantic and uninspiring, read only by English teachers whose only comments were a letter scrawled in red at the top. Am I really supposed to expect that others might read my article and think that it’s actually meaningful?
“The Lord said to him, ‘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 NIV).
But why me? There are so many better writers out there—why am I even presumed to have the skill to write about something as important as God? My pointer hovers over the red “x” in the corner. Surely, someone else on this planet has already written a much more articulate article about Moses. The points I want to make are not particularly insightful or brilliant, after all.
“Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, ‘What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you…” (Exodus 4:14 NIV).
In fact, when I had told my sister about my ideas, seeking help, she had immediately pointed out something that I had not considered—that Moses was only able to become an instrument for God by ultimately being obedient. I had only thought about how God used Moses despite his insecurities. What my sister said, however, was true. Ultimately, God didn’t force Moses into his journey to free the Israelites. Somewhere along the way, Moses had to submit and learn to trust in God.
“So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand” (Exodus 4:20 NIV).
I finally put words to my tenuous thoughts, arranging them into sentences and paragraphs as I faced the blank desert of the Word document. But I can see it filling as I type, text following a no longer unanswered command. In spite of all my doubts, God has led me to Moses and TAUG, has called me to write for His glory, and has sent me help. So I will write.
It’s 3:27AM, and the darkness is lit up by the steady glow of my laptop. My fingers fly across the keyboard.