Fire This Sunday, I get to kick off a new series on the life of Moses, entitled, "Called by Fire, Led by Thunder." Moses is, next to Jesus, my favorite biblical character with a nod to David, Joshua, and Joseph. Moses is such an authentic biblical character. He gets angry, frustrated, shows weakness, and great spurts of leadership. His life gets me thinking about leadership and God's presence.

This Sunday's message, "From Bad to Worse," talks about experiencing God's presence when we suffer carrying out His cause. In my preparation, I ran across this quote from Charles Spurgeon in Morning and Evening. Oh, to be able to use the English language this way!

There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along the "green pastures" by the side of the "still waters," but suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the Land of Goshen they have to tread the sandy desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, "Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen." Oh! say not so, thou who art walking in darkness. The best of God's saints must drink the wormwood; the dearest of his children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God's full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.

Moses learned that God's calling doesn't immediately mean the Promised Land. Sometimes, it means the wilderness first.

True dat, Mr. Spurgeon.