March 26, 2008
COVERING HOME BASE
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Exodus 4:18
Moses, you'll remember, approached his father-in-law Jethro and asked permission to return to Egypt. He certainly didn't tell Jethro everything at that point, but he let the man know there was something stirring in his heart. After years and years of virtual silence about his life and background back in Egypt, Moses said to Jethro, "It's time for me to go back. There's some unfinished business that needs attention."
When you have heard the voice of God calling you in a new direction---confirming that direction through His Word, through events, and through the wisdom of godly counselors---the result of that thought process needs to be communicated with your family. This is especially true if you are young. Why? Because your family has not had the benefit of the burning bush. You've heard God's voice; that's not true for them. They may not know or understand what God has said to you. They still feel like you should be going in a previously agreed-upon direction, and now you seem to be talking about a whole new set of plans. Those kinds of major course changes can seem upsetting, or even frightening, to those who care about you, especially parents. You need to be gracious enough to give them some helpful information on how God has changed your direction.
This exchange between these two men leads me to two principles worth considering. First of all, when God crystallizes a plan for your life, perhaps nudging you in a new direction, be extremely sensitive how you communicate that to others. Don't assume they know all you know about the process. Don't expect them to greet the idea with immediate acceptance and open arms. Give them the courtesy of time and space to think things through. Communicate your thoughts with tenderness, care, and understanding.
The second thing to notice is that this plan flowed. When you are in the center of God's will, my friend, it flows. It doesn't have to be forced. Moses said, "Jethro, may I go?" And Jethro replied, "Go in peace." Moses could move into what would prove to be a difficult ministry knowing things back home were just fine.
It is a very humbling experience to be moving in the direct current of God's will. But it can also bring fresh assurance.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.