At the center of even the most violent hurricanes is a calm space called the eye. The storm may stretch for hundreds of miles, but in the eye the winds quiet to breezes and the clouds clear to blue sky. In Exodus 3, we stand with Moses in the eye of a hurricane.
We’ve read about Moses’s stormy past. His family of origin descended from generations of enslaved Hebrews. His birth mother, hoping to save him from genocide, floated Moses into the arms of an Egyptian princess who eventually raised him as her own. As a young man, his anger flared into murder as he retaliated against the abuse of a fellow Hebrew. Then, fearing for his own life, Moses fled from Egypt and lived in hiding.
Even hundreds of miles away, Moses couldn’t escape the raging winds of his life. But God called Moses by name and spoke to him through a burning bush, a bush that remained unscathed despite being on fire. What a picture of extraordinary preservation amid destructive forces! God would preserve Moses and the entire nation of Israel from the Egyptians. “I know about their sufferings, and I have come down to rescue them…” (Exodus 3:7–8). God would call Moses to lead this rescue mission. But first, God gave him an experience in the eye of the hurricane.
Moses, unsure of himself and God, initially doubted the plan. His uncertainty is understandable. After all, hundreds of years had passed since God spoke with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses didn’t even know what to call Him, let alone how to trust Him with such an audacious plan. But God stilled the winds of confusion and unbelief when He spoke His name and His nature to Moses. “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you” (v.14).
The God of the universe is eternally present tense. He is the only cosmic constant. God does not change with time or circumstance. As He assured Moses, He assures us: “I AM” is with us every moment. No matter what harsh winds of hurt or regret blow from our past and no matter what unpredictable winds of anxiety or fear threaten to shake our future, God is always with us. We can trust that He is our center, our calm in the storm.
And God continues to reveal Himself to us. We can ask along with Joshua, “What does my lord want to say to his servant?” (Joshua 5:14). As we open our Bibles, God speaks to us right now. In His timeless presence, maybe we should take off our shoes like Moses did. Here we can feel the breeze of the Holy Spirit, see the clouds clear above our head, and know that it’s holy ground beneath our feet (Exodus 3:5, Joshua 5:15). “I AM” is eternally powerful and present. On this we stand.