Moses is best known for liberating the Israelites from Egypt, parting the Red Sea and receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. He was the first person in Scripture to be recorded doing miracles, and his life and writings take up approximately one-eighth of the pages in the Bible. Out of all of the thousands of years of history covered in this text, that’s a big chunk dedicated to events involving and works by one person. Clearly, he’s a big deal.
Besides miracles, he seemed to be pretty good at coming up with excuses. He was also essentially a foster child, had a temper, killed a man and ran away to start a new life. It’s there were God gets his attention and tells him that he needs to go back to lead His people to freedom.
Moses responded like most of us would have. He made excuses and tried to convince God that he had picked the wrong person.
[Oh, you laugh now, but really? Be honest…]
In this brief dialogue, we learn something about Moses: he had a speech problem. Some scholars say that it was a stutter; others are OK with the details being a little non-specific. Whatever your take on the situation, it’s clear that Moses wasn’t confident in talking in front of others, especially approaching the Pharaoh and in front of an entire nation on behalf of God.
This same God knew this. He made Moses. He gave people the ability to communicate. And this God does not make mistakes. He made him just the way he was supposed to be.
He also made Aaron, Moses’ biological brother. And it was Aaron who spoke for Moses. We don’t know as much about this supporting actor as we do about Moses, but we do know he was the mouthpiece for the greatest, human miracle-worker in the history of the world (besides Jesus). He enters and exits the stage at various points along the way and never steals the spotlight. It’s Moses who becomes famous, but without Aaron, Moses would have been a no-name shepherd, never mentioned in the pages of Scripture.
Foster children sometimes don’t have a platform for their own voice. Strangers often make decisions for them, and some foster children feel hushed because of what has happened to them in the past. Some have challenges communicating and expressing emotion. Who will speak on their behalf and help translate the world around them, and who will give them the words that they need until they are comfortable speaking for themselves?
Moses’ life story unfolds to be the epic of all epic adventures, and eventually, he speaks on his own. He develops into the leader who God called him to be and Aaron takes on a different role in God’s story. That’s the Moses made famous who we all know today.
There’s no way to know what kind of stories God is writing with the lives of the children in your care. Today might even be a pretty hopeless sort of day. That’s happens sometimes. But take confidence that your role as “Aaron” – your voice, your willingness to speak on their behalf, your support, your encouragement, your time, your energy, your patience and your reflection of God’s love into their lives – will not be wasted. After all, your little “Moses” may be throwing tantrums today and changing the world tomorrow, all because you spoke for him when he had no voice.