Moses, the Prince of Egypt, alias Prince Charming, watering animals? Why? Because Moses had just choked down the biggest wedge of humble pie you can imagine. By now, the man was ready to do anything. Isn’t it interesting, though, that in this incident Moses was allowed to be a deliverer on an immensely smaller scale? Earlier, he had thought he was going to deliver a nation. He had grand dreams and mighty schemes. But this time God said, “You want a job as deliverer? Then stand up and do it, son. Start here. There are seven women here in Midian who need a champion at this moment.”
Moses could have shrugged it off. He could have said, “Aw forget it. I’m out of the delivery business. Let someone else do the job.” But he didn’t. It was here Moses took his first steps in becoming a man of selfless dedication. The young women would later tell their father, “An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and what is more, he even drew the water for us and watered the flock” (v 19).
That thought moves me. If you can’t do the good you would, do the good you can. You may have had big-time plans in your life—major league dreams that haven’t panned out. You were going to write a best-selling book, but the opportunities just haven’t come along. Are you willing to write for your church newsletter?
Maybe you wanted to teach in seminary or Bible school, but the pressures of life forced you in a different direction. Are you willing to teach a fourth-grade Sunday school class? Are you up for leading a small group Bible study? Is it really the teaching that draws your heart, or is it the prestige that goes along with the position?
Failure, you see, teaches us a servant’s attitude. And what does a servant do? He does “the next task.” She does what is available and ready for her to do. Those without such an attitude resist getting their hands dirty. They never want to get involved in the messy part of working with people. They always want the polished part, the popular part. But the tough stuff behind the scenes? Well, give that to someone else.
God, however, will use our failures and setbacks to cultivate within us a servant’s heart. That’s step one. It’s all part of the process.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.