Do you have an Egyptian buried in the sand?
Somewhere lurking in your past, there is buried ‘an Egyptian.’
Something you did, or participated in, and others know about it. Something that was a disaster, something that you really botched up. Something you did that failed in a very spectacular way. Maybe there is a trail of hurt and regret for you and for others.
It was something you played a major role in, that has become a source of shame, of ‘ickiness’ — a source of humiliation, remorse and embarrassment.
It is your ‘Egyptian in the sand.’
This comes from the story of Moses:
One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?” He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?
Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known?” When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. - EXODUS 2:11-15 (ESV)
An ‘Egyptian in the sand’ is an action that came out of your own zeal to do what seemed to be the right thing to do to resolve a genuine and God-given burden in your heart.
Moses had a heart and a calling to liberate the Hebrews from Egyptian oppression.
But it wasn’t what God wanted; it wasn’t God’s way and it wasn’t God’s timing.
You acted in presumption, thinking it was the right thing to do. Then it jumped up and bit you; it backfired in a spectacular way.
It’s okay. I have an Egyptian in the sand too (maybe more than one). And so do many others.
It is part of the path of calling.
It is there to break your trust in yourself to accomplish what only God can accomplish.
Moses then fled to the desert.
He lost his sense of significance, his sense of being called, his sense of being special.
The ironic thing is: You need to know that you are called. Then you need to lose that sense of being special because of your call.
The call, or, more accurately, your response to the call, needs to be buried in the sand.
Only then will you hear the voice from the burning bush.