Read: Deuteronomy 2.7 (NRSV)
Here the long wilderness journey comes to an end for Moses. He looks back forty years and remembers the plagues and the exodus, the grumbling, and the manna. Joshua looks ahead and prepares to enter the Promised Land. Long before I turned forty, I could not imagine looking back more than a month or two. Further along the path, it is now easy to look back to see most clearly points of failure and success on my part, and the abiding presence of God throughout the journey.
The clarity of hindsight carries a powerful perspective for affirmation and for assurance in the presence. Whatever your current age, the point in our journey is vital to stop and learn from our past. It is certain that when we fail to learn from the past, we will indeed repeat our former ills. The current effort to clean-up our history will temporarily give those who rewrite the past power and sense of accomplishment, but our past is one of our greatest teachers. With all the dirty and sin, we must know what we have come through to see the value of what we have and where we are heading.
Before us is a world that is less likely to listen to the church’s message of righteousness and spiritual course correction. Therefore, we must make certain to know how God has guided, blessed, corrected, and empowered the People of God through great trials and suffering. The days ahead are no easier and the call of discipleship is no less important. Seek God in scripture, the fellowship of the believers, and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Action Plan: Look at family photos and count your blessings. Find past photos of your church family and learn from our past. What are some of the hopes and dreams that you once had? Are they still attainable? Will you work to their fulfillment? Have new and better dreams come to fulfillment in their place?
Prayer: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall want for nothing! Amen.