Change, some people crave it and some try to avoid it. Regardless change is inevitable. Single to married, two becomes more…stay at home mom to working woman. Families expand and contract, careers do the same. Friendships are created, nurtured, enjoyed and some remain while others fade. Change will come, the question is shall we embrace it or cringe at the prospect. Currently I am in the middle of change. We have moved to Oregon, a new state and it feels like a new season has begun. This last week I was finally able to join a bible study in our neighborhood. We looked at the life of Moses as we studied the book “All in” by Mark Batterson. I was intrigued that many of us had just retired and moved here. Almost all of us have transitioned and with that are sharing a journey in which we want to make this change well which requires paying close attention to what God has now and may have next for us. This particular transition pushes us into a place where we are forced to take a closer look at who we are, what our identity is based on and what our destiny may look like.
I loved the meditation on Moses life journey. Nothing in his life-line was by accident. Each stage was preparation for the next role God had in mind. He was raised in the house of Pharaoh. He was taught to be a leader. His identity was one of royalty. This foundation was preparing him for a role 40 years in the future! Yet his next role was as a shepherd. He had transitioned from a place of privilege and probable excitement to one of humility and much solitude as he spent time in the desert wilderness. I think, much like David, this new role strengthened him both physically and spiritually. He had time with God, a God he had not known as a youthful prince. In this new role he developed a new dimension of his personhood. He learned dependence on God alone. Then the time for God to use him to lead His people out of captivity had arrived. His faith in action had clearly grown out of a personal knowledge of who God was and the power behind His instruction as he stood before pharaoh.
“Holding faith’s promise Moses abandoned Egypt and had no fear of Pharaoh’s rage because he persisted in faith as if he had seen God who is unseen” Hebrews 11:27
What an amazing statement. He had no fear of the most powerful man in the land at that time, a man who had been in a place of authority over him growing up. Why? Because he had come to know God so well that it was if he had actually seen him!
The courageous stance of faith that Moses took is mirrored in the one he mentored for yet another 40 years, Joshua. I am so glad my periods of prep have been much shorter yet I believe the same dynamic holds true for all of us. God gives us a choice to make as we experience these days, months or years in our own fields or wildernesses. We can listen, praise and build our relationship with God to such a point that when the wind of adversity hits, or the chance to make a difference presents itself, even in the face of the greatest challenge, we will stand firm. We will not be shaken. We will speak-pray-declare and expect.
Moses was ready for a time of change. Joshua was ready as well.
Moses had no fear as he faced Pharaoh. Joshua had no fear of the giants in the land. Both had been prepared for a new day, a new call.
As I step into a new period of my life I have been challenged to find the next call. I am no longer working, I have left the geographical proximity of my close friends and I am facing new challenges. Yet I am doing so with expectation built upon the memorial stones of the past. God is good, He delivers me from all of my fears. As Jeremiah wrote:
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Regardless of past failures or successes God is never finished using us as His feet, His hands, His voice speaking into and serving the lives of those around us. Our destiny will be built on the memorial stones of the past, regardless of our age. Those stones that proved Him faithful to us in every season will not only provide us a firm foundation moving forward but may be the stepping stone another may need to cross over his or her Jordan.