Wednesday, October 7, 2009
There are valleys, but wow- the mountaintops!
Right before we moved to Mount Vernon this past summer I had an incredible weekend with Jasmine & Sommer. Amidst pots of coffee, strawberries and trail mix, we talked about Moses. We talked about how depressing the end of Moses’ life was. Moses was obedient to God and it resulted in 40 yrs wandering the desert with a group of hard hearted, draining, complaining people trailing after. He pressed on, believing that the Promised Land would be worth the heartache. Then under the pressure & frustration, Moses cracked and had an incident of disobedience. As a consequence, God didn’t allow Moses to enter the Promised Land. Ouch!
Then when Moses goes up to Mount Nebo to die, God lets him look at the Promised Land. God tells him that when the Israelites get fat and happy they’ll turn their backs on everything that God (through Moses) taught them & will cause curses to come on themselves. If it were me I would think, “All this? For nothing?!”
I struggled with this after spending a year studying the life of Moses. I thought, “He could have stayed in Egypt & lived a life of wealth, comfort, royalty.” For that matter, he could have stayed in Midian where he was a shepherd, mentored by his father-in-law, resting. Instead, he chose to follow God and it was a brutal ride with what to me looked like a sad ending. My human sympathies were left feeling a little sour.
Then the Lord began showing me Moses’ life differently. I read that he was the most “humble man to walk the earth”. I read about him seeing the glory of God. He constantly poured his heart out to a God who audibly answered!
He experienced severe valleys: plagues, hunger, bitter companions. He understood fear: can you fathom coming out of a valley leading millions of people only to realize you are trapped by the Red Sea & Egyptians?
Oh, but Moses also saw unbelievable miracles. He led millions of people! He received the law- the first written word from God. He understood things about God that no one knew before because God chose him to reveal his character through him. Seas parted, water flowed from rocks, food fell from the sky, and armies were defeated.
Knowing what I now know about Moses I don’t think he would wish he lived comfortably or safely. He wouldn’t end with, “Man, I wish I had more in my savings account…Should’ve stayed in Egypt.” Or, “If only I had holed up with my little family in Midian and blocked out the scary world!” This is not a man who gave his 10% and then lived his own life. He put it all on the line.
I think he would say, “I obeyed. What a ride! There were valleys but wow- the mountaintops! I knew God face to face.” Then he did rest. God gave him an honorable death “His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished” (Deut. 34:7) “Since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” (34:10)
That weekend I told the Lord that my desire is to be able to say at the end of my life “What a ride! There were valleys, but wow- the mountaintops! I knew God face to face.” As is always the case in these conversations with the Lord, I know I don’t know the weight of what I’ve chosen.
When I got home from girl’s weekend I shared with Sean my thoughts. He, too, had been listening to the Lord and felt a pulling regarding the type of life we are called to live. After talking about living a faith-filled, don’t-hold-back kind of life, Sean said, “All weekend I’ve been thinking I’m crazy because here I am by myself with all 3 kids and I can’t get it out of my head that we should start the adoption process. I think that’s what God is asking us to obey in right now.”
So here we are. We moved to a new town the same week we had that discussion and soon after turned in an application to our adoption agency. It’s looking like we will be adopting a young toddler/baby from an orphanage in Ethiopia. The agency is relatively inexpensive for international adoption but it will still probably cost us between $15,000- $18,000. Here begins the faith! Our next packet of paperwork is sitting in my drawer waiting for a $2,900 check to accompany it. Every emotion possible accompanies this journey. How thankful we are that we know the One who orchestrates the journey!