When most of us hear the word “pitch,” we think of baseball, but 600 or so years ago, the word took on an entirely different meaning as Moses who would eventually become a prophet and leader found himself three months old and pitched (gotten rid of as useless or unwanted) by his Hebrew mother. Now before you become outraged at the thought of someone placing their child in a basket and sitting it in a pile of bushes on the Nile River, Jochebed had good reason and ultimately good outcome. Pharaoh had commanded the death of male Hebrew children, so in an effort to protect Moses from being killed, Jochebed hid him. Eventually, Moses was discovered along the riverbank by Pharaoh’s daughter and adopted by her, a much better fate than his original. Moses; however, wouldn’t stay in disguise forever – although the Bible doesn’t share when he discovered his Hebrew roots, it does depict his passion for his afflicted brethren and document his exhausting journey to freeing them from Egyptian slavery.
Moses’ mother reminds me of God. Aware of our capacity to impact the world, He hides us from the world while He strengthens us with all we’ll need to face it. He then positions us – protected by reminders of His compassion and presence – in what seems to be turbulent waters, but in actuality are developing waters. These waters – harsh and uncertain – challenge everything He cultivated in us, ultimately causing us to question our power, our future, and even our relationship with Him. At what seems to be the perfect moment – right before our faith completely fails – grace and favor – tokens of our time with Him – lift us from the murky waters of doubt, offering us peace and hope – feelings we haven’t felt since we “left” God’s loving embrace. What we fail to realize then though is that His loving embrace never left us, but instead is the reason waters that should’ve drowned us became the place from which we emerged.
As we finally experience solid ground, we are given new eyes. Eyes that see things spiritually, and a heart passionate enough to impact change. Noticing that we’ve finally grown into everything He placed inside of us long ago, God speaks, revealing His long-awaited plan for us. He meets our doubt with His assurance: “I know what you’re capable of, because I know what I imparted in you.” Walking out His promise, we obediently meet our purpose face to face. At first sight, it appears menacing to us, but we persevere, confident that He wouldn’t lead us to defeat.
Failure after failure, we continue pursuing our purpose, each time equipped with a higher level of anointing. Until finally, the stubborn door of opportunity unlocks and we are breathing the realization that we did it – that the preparation, the pitch, the provision, the push, and the promise were all on purpose…for our purpose.
Exodus 4 begins to chronicle Moses’ journey toward freeing his people. It isn’t until nine chapters later that they are finally released. Each time Moses visits Pharaoh on their behalf, the stakes are higher. And each time, Pharaoh says “no.” Using denial strategically, God partners with Moses by issuing worsening plagues upon the Egyptians after every failed encounter Moses has with Pharaoh. Though Pharaoh repeatedly denies the people freedom, causing Moses to wonder if he’ll ever achieve his intended goal, we witness positive outcomes beyond his intended goal as he begins to grow progressively stronger in his confidence and stronger in his resolve. Ultimately, Pharaoh becomes afraid of the terror being unleashed in his land and literally begs the people to leave, proving not only the value of spiritual persistence but the necessity of rejection. In Exodus 3:12, God said “this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.” Moses probably didn’t realize when God said it that the mountain he was promised wasn’t physical, it was spiritual. The pile of failures created a mountain upon which he could worship God atop. Today, as you mourn the fact that you were pitched, consider how integral being discarded has been to your purpose. You know what they say “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”…now go build your Mt. Trashmore! (shameless “I’m from Virginia!” plug)