This uncertain time ramps up my wrestling. I move from trusting God to anxious thoughts of what’s to come. I think about my oldest working in the medical field. The neighbor’s family in California. I wonder if the small business I co-own will survive. I second guess my reduced coming and going. Graduation, wedding, and retreat plans change minute by minute. I avoid media and binge watch at the same time. I find myself praying Moses’ words.
Lord, I’m not going if you’re not with me. Please… show me your glory.
Moses faced uncertain times too. God told him to leave Mt. Sinai, to head toward the promised land. Yet, God did not plan to go with them.
The Lord said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’ I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” —Exodus 33:1-3 (ESV)
Moses wrestled with God, interceded on behalf of the people. Literally told God he wouldn’t go without His presence. In the end Moses asked, Please, show me your glory.
And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”—Exodus 33:19-23 (ESV, emphasis added)
Moses stood on the rock, and God sheltered him in the cleft. With his very hand, God shielded Moses and kept him safe.
Jesus, The Glory of the Lord, is the rock on which we stand, our firm foundation holding fast in uncertain, stormy times.
Christ is our hiding place, the cleft in the rock, our refuge.
He is the hand that covers us and shields us in times of trouble and wrestling.
Then, after God passes by, he removes the covering so that we might see his glory.
This is good news in troubled times. Gives me hope in the wrestling. Reminds me in this moment, to wait and rest, for The Glory of the Lord is present.
And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” —Exodus 33:14 (ESV)