Walking in Reverse

by guest blogger Pastor Terry Nightingale

I was talking with a friend the other day.

He had been offered a role in an organisation where his unique abilities and connections would be vital for the next phase of their vision.

He was flattered with the offer but extremely reluctant to accept it. The trouble was, he had worked for the company several years previously and, although under different management back then, he had not found them willing to embrace his ideas. In fact, the feelings of rejection were still quite raw.

The organisation had moved on since that time with the new leadership team taking it in an exciting new direction, but my friend could only see the pain he felt eight years ago.

While we were talking, I found my self thinking of Moses.

Moses had left Egypt out of favour and under a cloud. After a misguided attempt to win justice for a fellow Israelite, he not only felt the rejection of his own people but the sentence of death from his adoptive father – the Pharaoh. Moses had no choice but to close that chapter of his life and move on.

Years later, and now with a wife and family, God called him back, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt… the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.’ (Ex 3: 7 – 10)

I wonder what went through Moses’s mind.

The first question he asks God is, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ In other words, ‘Lord, I burned that bridge decades ago, they didn’t want my help then; I’m sure as heck they don’t need it now.’ God had to reassure Moses that things were different now: there’s a different Pharaoh on the throne and the elders of Israel will listen to him.

A lengthy conversation ensued between the Lord and Moses and the reluctant prophet finally agreed to do the job.

The end of the story is worth noting: Moses led his people out of slavery, away from the threat of the Egyptian army, to the mountain of God where the community was effectively re-born as people of the living God.

History as we know it flowed from that moment.

Moses submitted to the pain of revisiting the past and a nation was established amidst miracles and wonders. For God’s purposes to move forward, one man had to step back into a place he thought he had walked away from. For Moses, returning to Egypt would have felt like going backwards, opening old wounds, but in God’s master plan it was the key to a significant advance of His purposes.

I wonder if God is calling you to return to something or someone. Life may have moved on, but God is a God of history as well as the future and the two are more than linked. In order for God to bear his fruit in and through you in the future, maybe he is calling you to walk through an old familiar door – even if just for a season.

God bless – Terry

If you found this encouraging you can find more short devotions like this one at https://pastorterry4.wixsite.com/website


About guest blogger Terry Nightingale:

Terry-Nightingale
Pastor Terry Nightingale

Terry is a pastor serving in the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, having previously worked in education both in the UK and Perth. Terry has been involved in Christian ministry in a variety of ways over the years from teaching to evangelism, from music ministry to pastoral care.

Terry and Sue moved to Australia in 2003 from the UK. Today they have two grown-up children both married, and two grandchildren. They enjoy walking and watching Science Fiction movies.

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