All the hip young cool pastors have tattoos of their favorite Bible verses. I am none of those things, and for this and many reasons I will never get inked. But, if I did–it would be Exodus 3:12: 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.”
When he was young, Moses had dreams of being a revolutionary. Though he grew up as Pharaoh’s son, he believed that he could set his people free. And he tried and he failed, and he ran for his life and found…a comfortable one. Minding his own business, a productive middle manager in his father in law’s shepherding business. Until the day God pulled him aside and called back into the fight for freedom and justice–right back to the place of failure he’d spent his whole adult life putting behind him. And when he asked God for a sign that God would make sure he wouldn’t flail and fail again, God said–and I’m paraphrasing Exodus 3:12–when you’re done, you’ll know it was me who did it.
Life with God is abundant–it’s freedom, it’s flourishing, it’s receiving the grace to become the person you were created to be. AND–it’s also deeply, deeply uncomfortable. It’s walking toward the deepest places of suffering and pain in your world. It’s facing all the parts of yourself and your past you’d rather run from. It’s never going alone again.