While reading my boys the story of Moses the other night, it struck me that he was given away by his momma around age 3. He had her constantly, even more so than we are used to being with our little ones due to living conditions and the culture of the time. Then once weaned he went to live at the palace with a new mommy. What an adjustment!
And I got to thinking what those first few days/weeks were like for everyone involved. How did he take it? I wonder if he felt abandoned? No matter how necessary or how good a reason, I am sure that abandonment stayed with him his whole life, much like our childhood experiences that tend to bog us down and sabotage us through our lives.
But God didn’t abandon him. I couldn’t help but see God’s hand in his life.
His mom hid him after she saw he was a fair child. (Exodus 2:2 ) The way this is worded makes me think that she didn’t go into the pregnancy determined to keep the baby if it was a son. God moved in her after Moses was born.
Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses (Exodus 2:10 )
He had strong ties to the Israelites, despite being raised Egyptian. Strong enough to kill an Egyptian for abusing an fellow Israelite. God protected and nurtured his identity despite his surroundings and family circumstances.
He was full Levite from both parents and married a daughter of a Levite (Exodus 2:1,16 )
After a little digging, I discovered that the repercussions of childhood abandonment are feelings of worthlessness and low self esteem. Interestingly enough, we see two traits surface when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Remember at the burning bush? God said “So now go, I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:10
And his reaction was “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11
And he still tried to talk God out of choosing him even after God answered his question!
Amazing, isn’t it?
He felt less than capable in the moment given the path his life had taken because of circumstances within and out of his control. He was in the there and then with no insight to the future and no insight of God’s hand in guiding his life up to that point.
I think, in his shoes, we might all have similar feelings. But we are privileged to view the whole picture, with God’s commentary. We can look back and see how God saved his life because he had plans for him to save the Israelites and give testament to God’s power and glory for generations to come.
This story encouraged me to let life flow. God is in control of my life just like he was in control of Moses’ life. He allowed everything to happen- everything within and out of my control- because he has a plan for me. Both the negative and positive effects of my past are like training for my future.
With the perspective of God’s plan, all the negative experiences don’t seem so personal. And when it doesn’t feel personal, it is easier to not get stuck in and on them. It is through the perspective of God’s plan that we can have positive results from negative experiences.