Have you ever had people in your life who keep repeating the same mistakes over and over? You know you have. For example, hardly a family isn’t touched by the life of someone they know who is addicted to drugs these days. It’s heartbreaking to watch them repeatedly recover and then fall back into it again. Your heart aches for them to just progress past this point in their lives. Maybe it’s that lukewarm kid who just can’t seem to get over the hump of complaisance in order to begin to thrive. Maybe it’s a husband or wife with destructive attitudes. Maybe it’s you…..maybe that spending just doesn’t ever seem to stop, even though you fully intend to. Maybe it’s an emotional need that you just can’t seem to fill up and so you constantly battle feelings of inadequacy ….or maybe it’s even forgiveness and you just can’t get there and let it go. There are so many strongholds in our lives that I guarantee you either are or know someone who continue to repeat detrimental behaviors over and over. It’s so frustrating to be a part of someone’s life who does that. And in most cases, all the tools are there to move past whatever the problem is. That thought was on my mind today when I picked up my Grandpa’s old Bible. I was cleaning our room and came across his very old battered large print edition, (in fact it says GIANT print), traditional King James, red letter edition, black leather bound, front cover missing Bible. I debated whether or not to throw it out as I cleaned. We have plenty of Bibles. We have them even in good condition! Why on earth would it be wrong to throw this one away? Have you ever tried to throw out a Bible? It feels AWFUL! I sat on the edge of the bed for a moment and pondered this book of a very humble, deeply committed Christian grandfather. He was a man of incredible integrity who felt deeply, and I mean very deeply, all the scripture in his heart. I opened his beat up old life manual and looked through it. The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to read this GIANT print! Having gone to needing reading glasses over the last couple years, it was absolutely refreshing to be able to read without difficulty the words on the pages. The other thing I noticed were all his carefully written sermon notes. He detailed everything that he listened to, all the points that were important to him, and it looks like he BOXED all the main points. I remember as a little girl in church sitting next to him and watching him quietly reach into his lapel pocket and pull out his CROSS brand silver pen and pencil to make his notes. He gave the sermon all his attention every Sunday, and his Bible is proof of that. The book itself is a legacy of information from both my Heavenly Father and the man who functioned as my father in life. I made the decision to save this Bible and in fact, was drawn to it again this morning when I woke. I opened to Exodus 3 and began to read again the calling of Moses. I think so often of Moses and how strong and mighty and important he was in the history of God’s people, the Israelites. We love to tell his ‘ humble beginning’ story to our children. I saw more flannel graph stories of Moses in the bulrushes than probably any other growing up. I still marvel at God’s incredible intervention in Exodus 2, allowing Moses’ mother to tuck him into a little handmade ‘ark’ and set him afloat down the river, only to be found by the ruling Pharaoh’s daughter. And then to have Moses’ sister offer Pharaoh’s daughter a woman to nurse him and care for him, actually Moses’ own momma, and get paid to do it! Not only did God provide for the wonderful care of this little man, but he arranged that Moses’ family received wages to do it, and I’m sure it offered them physical protection as well! How cool is that to provide for the eventual call of Moses before he even knew his foot from his hand let alone his calling in life!! He grew up in the palace of Pharaoh and knew that dynasty inside and out which would later help him in his efforts to free Israel. There’s more I’d like to say about Exodus 2, including whether or not Moses’ slaying of the Egyptian cost him an easier way of freeing the Israelites, but I’m anxious to tell you what this old Bible flashed in my face this morning from Chapter 3. This is the story of Moses and the burning bush that we tell our children or see on the film from ages past. I found it interesting that when God called to him, he answered “Here am I”. I know that would not have been the first word out of my mouth. I would have said, “Who are you!?” But apparently he knew in his heart who was speaking to him, after all Horeb was the ‘mountain of God.’ I like that God told him to take his shoes off. Really! You’re talking to me out of a bush and you want my shoes off?! God continues on to tell Moses that he understands his plight. He understands his heart, because he too has heard the cries of Israelites and he knows the hurts of his people and he intends to free them. Can you imagine the relief in Moses heart at the moment? Finally, someone gets it! Finally, God himself, even, shares what has been set in Moses heart for quite some time. And I’m sure at that moment Moses figured God, who is speaking out a burning bush, will just automatically smite the Egyptians at once and supernaturally free the Israelites. He has no idea how instrumental he will be or how long this process will be. But instead God says, “I’m sending you to Pharaoh.” Whooooaaaa God! Sending me? Sending me where I’m not safe, in fact was last sought out to kill!? Who am I? And God replies with a ‘hold on there partner, certainly I’ll be with you’ and “I”, keyword “I” will bring the children of Israel out of Egypt. Then Moses explains how even the Israelites won’t believe him. God tells him exactly what to say and how they will respond, and exactly what he will do to make it happen. Still Moses doesn’t believe it. And so God shows him in all kinds of miraculous signs the power he will use to do this, and still Moses repeats this behavior of unbelief in the power of a God who is talking to him personally! He tries another excuse. Apparently Moses spoke poorly and he felt that was good enough excuse to not take on this giant task. God reminds him, “Dude, I made your mouth and your tongue. If I send you I will be with you and your speech.” (Paraphrased of course!) And still, still Moses wants him to send someone else. And finally God gets mad, and sends Aaron with Moses to complete the task. Do you ever wonder if Moses missed out on a blessing by his repeated excuses and repeated behavior because he assumed he was inadequate for the job? It draws me back to my humble Grandpa who was quite proper, but whose education was very limited. He was simple and spoke simply. But when he went to God in prayer, when he entered the presence of God, he was mighty in speech. You could tell he spoke as if he was at the feet of Jesus, with the Holy Spirit in complete charge of what came out of his mouth. It wasn’t pretentious or fake, it was real, with raw emotion and tears and genuine love for God. I wonder if Moses had agreed to the task right off the bat, when God said I’ll be with your mouth, would that have happened for Moses? Missed blessing by repeated behavior? It’s a thought that makes me wonder what our own repeated behaviors cost us;. our repeated attempts to walk in what we think we are destined for and not in what we are “called” to. Now don’t get me wrong, Moses was HUGE in the plan for God’s people, but maybe a bit of an example of what repeated behaviors cost us. Maybe you have a hurdle you just can’t get past? Maybe you know someone else who does too? Your heart probably aches more for that other person than it does for what you might be missing out on yourself. Take off your shoes, sit down and hear God’s voice in your life. Are you missing out on a blessing of any kind because you just aren’t freeing yourself to follow blindly His calling in your life? What repeated behaviors hold you back toward affecting the Kingdom of God? I can share with you that mine is always a feeling of inadequacy, that I am not good enough. But the same God of Moses is the same God who calls me today and He promises to be with me. My GIANT print is a GIANT reminder to me today, He is with me.