April 18, 2016 When You Wonder if God is Concerned About You Sharon Jaynes Today’s Truth The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. (Exodus 3:7 NIV) Friend to Friend Moses was on the far side of the wilderness when God spoke to him through the burning bush. He had failed in Egypt and bailed to Midian. Yep, failed and bailed. He ran away to the wilderness where he stayed for the next forty years. And friend, sometimes it is only on the far side of the wilderness where God can get our attention. Sometimes it is when we feel alone, abandoned, and forgotten that our ears are pricked to hear. Isolation is often God’s place of invitation. Now that you know the backstory, let’s join Moses at his wakeup call. Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am” (Exod. 3:1–4). Let’s hit the pause button for a second. Here’s something interesting about this encounter. When God spoke, He didn’t speak through a fragrant rose bush, a blooming rhododendron, or a genteel hydrangea. God spoke through a prickly, gnarly, thorny, dried up old deserttumbleweedish shrub. Oh yes, when God chooses to speak through something or someone, any old bush will do. I don’t know about you, but that gives me great hope! Did you notice when God began to speak? “When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look.” When God saw that He had Moses’ attention, He began to speak. I wonder how many times I’ve missed God’s gentle whisper and tender tug because I wasn’t paying attention. How many times has God tried to speak to me, but I was too busy being busy to notice? Moses turned aside. God spoke. “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father,the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I haveheard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down torescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them (Exod. 3:3-9, emphasis added). This was sounding good to Moses! (And it sounds good to me!) God sees! God hears! God is concerned! God will rescue! This is an amazing story, and we’re going to stop right here. No matter what you’re going through today. Even if you HAVE failed and bailed, even if you are somewhere on the backside of the wilderness, God sees you. God hears you. God is concerned. And God will rescue. Perhaps He is waiting for you to turn aside. To see the burning bushes in your own backyard. Make no mistake about it. He has not left you. Never has. Never will. He speaks to us and waits for us to turn aside and listen. Let’s Pray Heavenly Father, thank You for never giving up on me, even when I give up on myself. Thank You for seeing me, for hearing me, for being concerned about me, and for rescuing me. Thank You for proving that by sending Your Son, Jesus, just for me. In His Name, Amen.