In Moses’ case, all he needed was obedience. His job was to get the instructions. On the mountain, that’s all he did. He lived in that moment only—not fretting over the tasks ahead—and eventually, God not only showed Moses WHAT was to be done, but HOW the job was to be accomplished. Moses didn’t have to sharpen his chisel after all. Someone else had a part in fulfilling the God-sized plan. This too, is typically God’s method: counterparts working together to accomplish His will.
Overseeing the men whom God had anointed as artisans and craftsmen was something Moses COULD do. His leadership abilities were already proven as were his abilities to communicate God’s will to the people. (Yes. He finally realized God could use that tongue of his.)
Bezaleel and Aholiab, the men gifted for the intricate work on the tabernacle, had stories of their own, part of which was rooted in frustration. It’s likely they learned their skills at the end of a task master’s whip, perhaps building ziggurats for a pharaoh who’d enslaved them. The bitterness of their situation fluttered with momentary hope when Moses shared the news that God was leading them to freedom. Filled with anticipation, perhaps they entertained ideas of constructing a lovely home with a couple of high-end architectural features their neighbors could admire. But they didn’t leave Egypt to settle in the Promised Land. Instead, they wandered in the desert and dwelt in tents. Unlike those tending flocks so necessary for sacrifices or those called to govern groups with their wisdom, these two men had skills that were buried under the useless and mundane. Ordinary, meaningless tasks likely occupied their time and robbed their sense of purpose. They didn’t realize God’s plan was to use them for something far more magnificent than building a pharaoh’s kingdom or making a lovely home. God wanted to use them for His glory, to build an exquisite structure that would symbolize Him, that would invite worship, and that would house His Holy Presence. God’s plan was grand, and what he planned, He “manned.”
What could have been daunting, was doable. With God there are never impossibilities, and since God is able, so are the ones He equips for the task. Sometimes hardships and setbacks are the preparation for greatness. But when the time is right, the endurance pays off. For Moses, it was a mountain top experience. For Bezaleel and Aholiab it was overseeing the elaborate details of the house of God.
We, too, have been gifted by God to glorify Him with our talents, skills, and anointing. Like Bezaleel and Aholiab, we may feel like our abilities are wasted on the ordinary, like we are working to thicken someone else’s wallet or only to make ends meet. We experience deflated hope. We’ve been given extra time or been blessed with financial increase or felt fresh inspiration that we are sure will launch us into our purpose, but those advantages don’t turn out as expected. Instead, they are traded for dusty, desert travel like health issues, unforeseen expenses, or new demands that swallow up our energy, time, and vision while offering little reward. Desire is buried, dreams fizzle, and we accept what is as we put aside our dreams.
Circumstances we do not understand are often part of our purpose because the greatness at the end of the process is not something we fully understand. God’s ways are not our ways. They’re bigger, brighter, and better than anything we’d choose to achieve. So, we trust Him. Like Moses, we sit in God’s presence stress-free. Listening. Learning. Waiting. Willing. Like Bezaleel and Aholiab, we endure the pressure, we carry on, and when the time is right, we put aside our feeble plans for God’s much grander purpose. Living moment by moment in faith and obedience takes obstacles out of the way and sets us up for holy opportunities, for God’s plan to unfold THROUGH us, His plan to unfold FOR us, and His plan to unfold IN us, the tabernacle of beauty in which He dwells.
Tip/Tidbit: Have you ever imagined yourself reaching a goal only to find what seemed within grasp is even further out of reach? Sometimes waiting and setbacks are the very things that will build intensity to fuel your passion. Then, when the opportunity does present itself, you are ever so ready and willing to put in the time and effort the bigger-than-you-can-imagine project requires.