Imagine for a moment a father and his toddler son working on a farm. The father has to
dig a deep hole. He has a couple different types of shovels, to help him dig out dirt, break rock, and help with any other obstacles he might have. The little boy is sitting in the sand box with his toy shovel and pail. As the son sits in the sand box, he watches his dad dig deeper and deeper. Dad is sweating and visibly getting tired. So the son gets a bright idea. He jumps out of his sand box with the shovel, walks over and tugs on dad’s jeans and says, “Daddy, I want to help.” The dad gets a big grin on his face and says, “Have at it.” Then the little boy jumps in the hole and begins to dig with his plastic shovel and pail. Of course, as he “shovels” he knocks way more dirt in the hole than he gets out. The dad watches and grins. It’s pretty cool that his son wants to help, but a little boy with a plastic shovel cannot do much to dig a hole.
This is what we look like when we try to do things for God on our own. We come up with big plans for God, and go do things for Him. But doing things for God on our own power and strength will never accomplish anything.
Moses had this problem. He knew he was a Hebrew, and probably had a sense that God wanted to use him to deliver these people. One day when he was watching the Hebrews work, he noticed an Egyptian worker beating a Hebrew. In his mind he said, “Now is my chance to do a great thing for God.” He probably figured that the Hebrews would see his act of bravery and turn to him for help. He also probably planned on God jumping in to make his plan work. The problem was that this was not God’s timing. His best effort for God ended with Moses murdering a man, the Hebrews rejecting him, and Pharoah wanting Moses dead. As a result, Moses had to flee to Midian, where he would spend the next forty years of his life, in a desert. His great plan for God ended him nowhere.
I have had a number of experiences where I made great plans for God and expected Him to bless them. These plans were not based on God’s vision, or His direction. They were based on my idea of what I could do for God. I imagine God looked down on my efforts like the father looked at the boy. He realized that any attempt to do something great on my own would end in failure, because it was not possible.
Back to the little boy. How can he possibly have any chance of digging part of the hole? The only way is if the dad tells the little boy to hold on to a big shovel, and the dad grabs hold at the same time. Then the dad does for the boy what he could never do on his own. They spend the rest of the day digging the hole together. In the end, it was really dad who did the digging, but oh how the boy got to be a part. And forever the little boy will remember the hole “dad and me dug together.”