Have you ever had an identity crisis? You aren’t really sure who you are, or who you should be? You act like one person when you are around people you want to impress, but you know deep down that that person is not you? Have you ever had to peel off your mask to get real with God in prayer? I humbly believe we all suffer from this sort of crisis at some point in our lives. I mean, come on, the teenage years happen to even the best of us. Many of us still struggle with who we are well into our adult lives. Isn’t it refreshing to know this isn’t just our own unique issue? What ‘s even more refreshing is knowing that people in the Bible that God used mightily sometimes suffered from the same thing.
The most important thing to remember about people in the bible is that they were just people. Just people, like you and me. And if they were just like you and me, they definitely had their share of problems, especially if they were like me! Take a look at Moses. Moses is the perfect example of someone having an identity crisis. He was doomed from birth. His Hebrew mother puts him in a basket and sends him down the river because the Egyptians were killing off all the baby boys. Pharaoh’s daughter finds him, allows him to be nursed for a few years by his real mother and then takes him home to the palace to grow up as an Egyptian. Moses was born a slave but raised as a prince. Obviously he knew all along he was a Hebrew, because Exodus 2:11 tells us that one day, he goes out to watch his “own people” work and gets angry when he sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. He gets so angry he kills the slave driver, and when Pharaoh finds out what happened, Moses has to flee for his life. Now, when he leaves Egypt, he goes to Midian, and even there, he can’t figure out exactly who he is. See, there’s some girls watering their sheep at a well, and these shepherds come along and start giving them grief. Moses comes to the rescue, waters their sheep and sends them home early. Their father asks why they came back so early and here it is, they say, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds.” Can’t you just see it? Moses trying to impress the ladies, making them believe he’s this heroic Egyptian prince. They’d never fall for him if they knew he was a Hebrew slave, right? If they knew he was a slave, they’d know he was poor with nothing to offer them. So he tells them he’s from royalty. So the bible says that Moses was gone from Egypt for forty years. So it’s highly probable that Moses struggled maintaining this façade for four long decades. Then, one day, he’s in the desert with his sheep and he sees this curious thing. A bush on fire, but it’s not burning up! He gets closer to check things out and the bush starts speaking to him. “Moses! Moses!” I’m sure he was just a little freaked out at this point, but he stammers, “Here I am.”
The greatest thing about this story is that no matter who Moses pretended to be, God knew just who he was. Even better than that, God loved him in spite of it all. Moses didn’t have to impress God. So, this is how Exodus 3 starts out, but if you skim down to verse 11, you will see that Moses eventually figured it all out. He also realized that who he was didn’t matter. Moses asks God “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh?” God’s response? “I will be with you.” All God asked Moses to do was be who he was and do what God asks. He didn’t have to make a big name for himself, he didn’t have to prove himself to God. He just had to know who he was in God, and know that God was going with him. Period. Moses, at some point in those forty years, figured out who he was, though because he declared “Here I am” when the bush started talking. If he hadn’t figured out who he really was, he would have been like, “Who? You talkin’ to me?” But that’s not what he said. He said, “Here I am!” Clearly, there is hope for those of us who don’t know who we are. It may take a while, and some one-on-one time with God, but we will eventually know who we are, as well as who we are in Christ.