Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
“Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.” ~ Exodus 4:10-12
Odds are, if you are an American and watch movies, you’ve seen at least one Star Wars movie. Even if you haven’t, you can probably identify the main characters – especially the villain, Darth Vader. A suit that prevented any kind of facial expression encases the actor, leaving the audience with only the voice chosen to represent the man within. And what a voice it is – rich, powerful, memorable.
But what I didn’t know about James Earl Jones until I saw an interview with him yesterday was that he stutters.
And the incredible thing is, he says he still stutters.
I was floored. Here is an actor known best for his voice – even that sentence seems too small to convey how impacting his rumbling bass is when you hear it. Jones says that he never got over his stutter; rather, he learned to work with it. He went on to explain something that stuck with me for the rest of the day: As a child, when you stutter, you learn to listen more closely and appreciate words and language more deeply. And thus, he learned to convey himself through careful chosen speech.
Wow. How often do I shy away from doing something that I don’t feel that I’m right for – or adequately equipped? Would I even dream about following a passion (like Jones did with acting) if I felt that I was less than perfectly suited for it? It’s amazing to me that someone with a speech impediment would become so well known for exactly what might hinder him most – his voice.
Looking at Moses, he probably felt a lot closer to how I feel about doing something I’m not good at than how Jones approached his speaking problems. When Moses was asked by the Lord to go talk to Pharaoh, he protested, explaining that he really wasn’t the right man for the job. But God reminded Moses of something we all need to keep in mind – it is He who gives us the capacity to do anything. So it stands to reason that if God asks you to do something, He’ll give you the skills necessary to do so.
Whatever you face in your day today, know that God will never ask you to do something without equipping you to do it. Maybe God will speak for you, like He did with Moses, or maybe He will simply teach you to hear better so you understand what to do. But whatever it is, know that He is with you and will help you do exactly what He is asking you to accomplish.