She was unraveling and all she felt compelled to do was hide. Meredith McDaniel, a licensed professional counselor, has spent the past 15 years counseling clients through the choppy waters of overwhelm. Yet, when her own anxiety and longing took root, she found herself ironically defaulting into a silent struggle of shame and doubt. In her practice, milk + honey counseling, Meredith uses a combination of her own life experience and narrative therapy to create a safe space for people to process their own story and trace our Maker’s hand in the Grander Narrative. She takes us all on a guided journey to hunt for the manna in our midst. It’s a grace to welcome Meredith to the farm’s front porch today…
Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God: But only he who sees takes off his shoes. —Elizabeth Barrett Browning
In Exodus 3–4, Moses found himself in the presence of God at the burning bush, and God spoke directly to him.
His reaction? He hid his face.
It’s as if we are back in the garden with Adam and Eve, who hid because they could not bear to be in God’s presence after the fall.
Where might you be hiding?
We all do it, of course; it just looks different for each of us. I think it feels easier for me to walk around faking it most days, when in reality I am just hiding.
Hiding from friends and family, hiding from myself, and trying to hide from God.
Sometimes we can feel like we are “both too much and never enough” as Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan say in their book Wild and Free.
When we live out half-truths and walk in a false identity that is not our own, we are hiding from other people.
We fear that if they see who we really are and what we really think, they won’t like what they see.
What if they are disappointed?
What if they find the ugly hidden underneath our facade?
We need God’s compassion and unrelenting love to provide us with courage to show up and be seen.
I imagine Moses felt a similar fear when he stood before God in the blazing flames. He recognized that the powerful Being burning in front of him knew his whole story.
Moses could hide his face, but he could not hide his backstory.
God knew everything that Moses had done in Egypt.
God knew every detail about his life and yet was still calling him to lead the Israelites.
Moses felt unqualified and guilty. He didn’t think he was the person to do this job. He offered every excuse imaginable. He lacked confidence and focused on his flaws to try and avoid God’s calling.
I don’t know about you, but there are many days when I wake up and don’t feel worthy.
I ask myself all the time, Who put me in charge of everything I am supposed to steward well?
Does God really remember all the ways I’ve messed up and how my heart turns ugly on a dime and how I so easily forget to trust Him and all He has done in my life?
I relate to Moses and how he pleaded with God to find someone else to lead the masses.
We each have our corner of the world, territory that God has entrusted to us for His glory.
For many of you that may be loving the people in your office or in your neighborhood. For others it may be the people beside you in class or the kids you pick up from preschool.
None of us feel qualified 100 percent of the time, and we find ourselves making excuses.
So what do we do with that paradox, knowing we can have an impact but also knowing we are weak?
As we look back at Moses and hear him fumbling over his words, reminding God about his stutter and pulling his brother Aaron into the equation, do you see your yourself in his struggle?
Maybe someone else can just do this for me.
Maybe I can just keep my head down and clock in and out and try not to ruffle any feathers.
Maybe I can just do the bare minimum to get by.
But what happens when God calls you higher and deeper out of His great love for you?
God saw Moses.
He knew the ugliness in Moses’s story, yet He still called Moses to follow Him. Moses needed God’s mighty power to enable Him for the task at hand. We do too.
This calling is a form of manna; it’s an opportunity to find a richer life instead of settling for less.
It was by God’s holiness and power that Moses was able to go back to the people and share with them the promises of their Creator.
God provided just what he needed to do it and more. Moses had no certainties, but he had faith, and that’s what kept him going.
What kept Moses humble was remembering who made him, who called him, and who provided manna along every step of the journey.
In the same way God equipped Moses, He gives us all we need through His mighty power and His ability to see farther down the road ahead than we can.
May we wake up to the provision right here, right now, believing we have a God who loves us.
Meredith McDaniel is a licensed professional counselor and owner of her private practice Milk + Honey. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, she has also served on staff with Young Life and as the lead counselor with Inheritance of Hope. Meredith says she feels called to sit with and listen to the stories of women and men, helping them discover who they are and live out their story more fully.
In her debut book, In Want + Plenty: Waking Up to God’s Provision in a Land of Longing, Meredith invites you to walk alongside God’s people in Exodus as they wake up each morning to manna, God’s provision for them in desert places. As she unfolds their story of complete dependence on their Creator, you’ll discover through guided journaling how God is providing for you right now, where you are in your own unique story.
[ Our humble thanks to Baker for their partnership in today’s devotion ]