I love the story of Moses and the burning bush, and I recently heard a new interpretation of this story that suggests that Moses, in his request for God’s name, was trying to control God. The interpretation is based on an understanding that ancient people believed that when you had someone’s name, you had some level of control over that person. Needless to say, one cannot control the great I AM.
I have spent some time meditating on this interpretation. Through my prayer, I have come to see how easy it is to seek to control God. Of course, this is not how we labeled it, but many of us do it on a regular basis. What I mean by this, is that sometimes we expect God to act a certain way. We expect him to behave in accordance with our belief in how God should deal with the world. When we are unable to control him, to get our way, we become frustrated, and our faith languishes.
For the most part, this happens at a subconscious level. We don’t always grasp that our frustration with God comes from being disappointed and/or confused that his ways are beyond us. So, in effect, this frustration eats away at our faith at a level that is outside of our awareness.
I believe that one way to counter this negative impact on our faith is to find time to ponder God in his greatness. We can ponder him through meditation on things like his ability to cause a bush to be aflame without burning, the miracles Jesus worked in his time, or in the simplicity and beauty of his creation. By pondering these things, I believe we can touch the hurt areas within us. In so doing, we can learn to bring our entire being into the belief that his ways, while beyond us, are perfect and right.
Spend some time with the Holy Spirit and ask him to show you where you might have internal hurts related to God not behaving the way you expected. Ask him to show you ways to bring these to the forefront of your mind so that the two of you can heal these wounds. Ask him to show you examples of burning bushes in the world around you. Ask him to help you see where you implicitly seek to control him or where your expectations of him cause you frustration, doubt, or pain. Ask him to help you trust more fully in his divine providence, and in his love for you.