Before I went to college, I worked my butt off over the summer to save up enough money to buy a macbook and pay for some of my tuition. When the summer was over, I was ready to buy my laptop when the Holy Spirit convicted me. Suddenly, I realized that I was about to get something for myself and I hadn't given any of my money in the offering plate to God. I strongly felt like the Holy Spirit put a number on my heart to give to my church, but, if I did that, I wouldn't be able to afford my laptop. I was worried I wouldn't be able to make it through my first year of college without a laptop. It seems small to me now, but I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed by what God was calling me to do.
God does that though, doesn't He? He asks us to do these overwhelming and huge things for Him. It happens in the Bible all the time. Take Moses for example.
So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt." -- Exodus 3:10
Now talk about an overwhelming task! "So Moses, listen. The Pharaohs, you know those guys right? They've been oppressing the Hebrews as slaves for about four hundred years now. So why don't you go and tell them to stop it? Then free the Hebrews and take all one million of them out of Egypt. Sound like a plan?"
As you can imagine, Moses was totally overwhelmed. Moses tries to get out of it five times. Take a look at what he says and how God responds.
But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."-- Exodus 3:11-12
Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" -- Exodus 3:13-14
Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?" Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" "A staff," he replied. The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground." Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. . -- Exodus 4:1-3
Moses said to the LORD, "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." 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 4:10-12
But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." 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, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. -- Exodus 4:13-15
Five times Moses tells God that he can't do it and reminds God of all the things that could go wrong. Five times! But what does God do in each case? Does God tell Moses to go figure it out on his own? No. God tells Moses that in one way or another, He will provide. To paraphrase...
Moses: God, who am I to stop Pharaoh and save the people? God: I will be with you.
Moses: But I don't even know what to say if they ask who sent me. God: You need my name? Here, its Yahweh.
Moses: What if they don't believe my story and think I'm crazy or lying? God: I will perform signs and miracles through you.
Moses: But God, I don't know how to speak or lead. I can't do this. God: I made your mouth and I will give you the right words to say.
Moses: You've got the wrong guy! Send someone else! God: You're getting on my nerves here Moses, but I will send Aaron with you so you don't have to go alone.
And we know the rest of the story too. When Pharaoh said no to Moses, did Moses have to do the convincing? Nope, God sent the ten plagues and Moses just sat back and let God do the heavy lifting. When they are trapped between the Pharaoh's army and the Red Sea, did Moses have to save the day? Nope, he just had to hold up a stick and God took care of the heavy lifting by parting the entire sea.
God does the heavy lifting.
When God asks us to do overwhelming things, its easy for us to freak out and be too afraid of what might happen to actually do it. We worry about looking foolish and failing. We worry about not having what it takes. But the beautiful thing about God is that He doesn't leave us to do it alone! He is with us. When He asks us to do something for Him, it doesn't matter if we have what it takes because He certainly does!
You may not know what to say to that stranger on the bus, but doesn't the Holy Spirit who lives within you? You may not have what it takes to control the future and all of the possible obstacles or outcomes, but doesn't almighty God? You see, when God calls you to do something, He doesn't leave you with the heavy lifting. He takes that upon Himself and gives you the strength and grace you need. The heavy lifting isn't for you to do. You know what is for you to do? Trust and obey.
Back to my laptop story. The Holy Spirit had put a number on my heart to give to God and my church in the offering. The number was bigger than 10% of what I had made that summer. If I gave that money, I couldn't get my laptop and I was kind of worried that I'd fall behind in school without one. I trusted God and gave the money anyway. About a day later, without me sharing this story, my dad told me he wanted to help me pay for my tuition and my mom told me she wanted to help me pay for my laptop. It doesn't always work out that quickly and neatly, but I learned a lesson that day. I was so worried about the future that I almost let it scare me out of obeying God in the present. But when I obeyed, God reminded me that He is big enough to take care of all of the details and that I should leave the heavy lifting to Him and just concern myself with obedience.
Whatever it is that God has called you to do that you are struggling with, I urge you to trust him. Whether its as small as my college laptop issue or as big as the Exodus story, God is able to do the heavy lifting. He will do His part. Will you trust Him and obey?