I’ve just turned the last page in the book of Deuteronomy. Moses’s ministry has come to a close, his life has come to its end, and he’s given a glimpse of the land God had promised to his people. But he will never set foot on it.
One of the benefits of my plodding through Deuteronomy at a snail’s pace is that it mirrors the pace of Israel’s journey. Back in October when I began my reading of the longest sermon in the Bible, Moses was already reminiscing about the people’s rock-hard stubbornness. When I read in Chapter 34 that Moses had reached the finish line, and God had taken care of all the details, it felt like the gift of a well-earned rest.
I wonder: Was it hard for Moses to trust that the world would keep spinning without him?
The Land of See and Trust
Both Moses and Abraham were well-educated in the school of See and Trust. Their stories bookend the Pentateuch with encouragement for anyone who lives in waiting mode. (All of us?) Both men received the promise from God and then died without taking possession of the real estate.
We get a glimpse of Moses’s thoughts on mortality in Psalm 90. After 120 years of “toil and trouble,” his final rest was well-earned, but it’s also clear that he knew the source of ultimate satisfaction was never intended to be a new mailing address in The Promised Land:
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,Psalm 90:14
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Moses chose to be satisfied, to rest in the joy of The Given rather than wrestling with God over The Not-Given. Finding rest in the land of See and Trust is a tough assignment. We’d much rather See and Possess! Right now!
The key to Moses’s peaceful ending lies in his choice to trust. He chose to rest in the steadfast love of God so many times that it became a habit for him.
What are you waiting for? Even a longing for a good thing can destroy your rest if it becomes an ultimate thing. Are you praying for the salvation of a loved one? For a career break through? For healing of a broken relationship?
Take grace first. Take his steadfast love, and rejoice. Like Moses, we can rest in the reality of God’s good intentions toward us, even if the outcome is not at all what we had envisioned.
What are you waiting for? Take grace first. Take God’s steadfast love, and then rejoice: “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love…” (Psalm 90:14) #hesed #restTweet
And Now Let’s Talk Books!
Change is inevitable. We live open-handed, knowing that this moment in time is a passing thing. Even so, some changes land in our lives like a force of nature, uprooting the landscape and causing us to whisper, “Will life ever be good again?”
This was Lisa Appelo’s story after her husband died suddenly in his forties, leaving her to raise their seven children alone and to walk a path of grief for which she was completely unprepared. Life Can Be Good Again is a trail of breadcrumbs for her readers, strewn in faith that after the tidal wave of emotion that accompanies loss, there is a way forward to a new and flourishing life.
God’s promises are not nullified by grief or loss. His goodness and faithfulness are unchanged, even in seasons of difficult emotions, so he welcomes us into his presence, bringing with us our pain and sadness. The North American tendency to stuff our emotions and resort to happy talk and bootstraps is unbiblical.
In fact, Appelo points to scripture as our playbook for walking through the wilderness. Sticking close to biblical truth ensures that our hearts will receive a “daily dose of hope,” nourishment in what feels like a howling wasteland, and a “daily exchange of our thoughts for God’s thoughts.” Furthermore, the words of lament in scripture provide words for bringing our load of painful emotions to God.
While it’s true that the unthinkable can and does happen, we do not walk through tragedy alone. A well-placed hope in God’s faithfulness carries the believer to the other side of tragedy with a deeper connection to him and a stronger faith in his ability to restore beauty in spite of brokenness.
Holding You in the Light,
In #LifeCanBeGoodAgain, @AppeloLisa points to scripture as our playbook for walking through the wilderness. It’s a “daily exchange of our thoughts for God’s thoughts.” via @ReadBakerBooks #lamentTweet
Are You a Subscriber?
Every month I send a newsletter with biblical encouragement straight to my subscribers’ email inboxes. I’m committed to the truth that women can become confident followers of God and students of his word, and it’s my goal to provide resources to help you along that path. “Half a Dozen Biblical Questions for Entering (and Enduring) Hard Times” is my most recent free resource, and new subscribers receive it automatically.
To receive your copy simply enter your email and then click on the button below…
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and an affiliate of The Joyful Life Magazine, two advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase any of the books or products I’ve shared, simply click on the image, and you’ll be taken directly to the seller. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Many thanks to Baker Publishing for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which is, of course, offered freely and with honesty.