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Waiting for the Shot

Waiting for the Shot

Aaron spoke all the words that the LORD had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed. Exodus 4:30-31

Working in Urgent Care, it’s not uncommon to need to collect a strep test from an unwilling child. Despite parent’s pleading, the child refuses to open his (or her) mouth, somehow wailing with lips clamped shut. It’s often the same with an injection for anesthesia. Before we even get out the syringe, the anticipation of the shot has the patient howling in agony. It’s the fear of the thing that is so distressing. The swab or the shot lasts only seconds, but from the moment that young patient realizes it’s going to happen, the anguish builds, creating its own misery, which is far worse than the event itself.

As silly as I think it is for a patient to be distraught over a simple throat swab, I feel like God must look at me, finding me to be even more absurd. For years, I resisted going to treatment because of how painful I thought it was going to be. Putting it off though, created far more misery than if I’d have just gone in the first place. Even now, when I sense God telling me to do something that I don’t want to do, I often drag my feet, anticipating the worst. Deep down, I fear that following God will be disruptive to my life. And that may be, but the fear of the thing is usually far worse than the thing itself. When I finally do it, I find that my angst was unfounded and that I made things far worse by dragging my feet.

This was the lesson I believe Moses learned in today’s passage. When God told him to go back to Egypt to lead his people out of slavery, Moses had his excuses. One of them was that he feared his own people wouldn’t believe that God had sent him. In today’s passage, we read that Aaron and Moses went, delivered God’s message, and that God’s people believed. As it turned out, Moses’ fear of the event was far more traumatic than the event itself.

Most of us have been here. We know what we should do. We know what’s right. We drag our feet though in fearful anticipation. In doing so, we create far more misery for ourselves than if we simply did the thing in the first place. We can clearly see that the child who simply opens his mouth for a few seconds for the throat swab, endures far less misery than the one who fights it. Likewise, we endure far less misery if we just listen to God the first time, doing what he says, than if we resist him in fearful anticipation.

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