Well, I’ve made it! Today I have reached what I hope is the halfway point of my life. I have tried to cut myself short of reaching this point a few times, but I’m thankful to have arrived at 45!
Paul says in Philippians there is “one thing” he has learned. As I reflect on the past 45 years of my life I would like to share with you the “one thing” I’ve learned…
Life goes on.
On September 13, 2017, I suffered a major heart attack. The Doctors made it clear to me that my life was going to end at any moment. If my life would have ended on that day, life would not have gone on for my wife and children as they had known it up to that point. Everything would have been put on hold as they tried to process and deal with what just happened.
While many would have gasped in amazement, prayed, possibly sent gifts through “Go Fund Me” or even showed up at my funeral, in just a few days their lives would continue as they had on September 12. Why?
Life must go on.
Moses was the one who turned everything around for the children of Israel. He was the one who God chose to lead Israel out of Egypt. He was the one to intercede with God on behalf of the people. Deuteronomy 34:10-11 says, “…there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, none like him…”Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated” (7-9).
In Deuteronomy 34:4 the Bible tells us God allowed Moses to see two wonderful things before he died. “And the Lord said to him, ‘This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, I will give it to your offspring. I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there’.”
1. God allowed Moses to see the promise land to which he gave nearly 75% of his life to see.
2. God allowed Moses to see life will go on without him. “I will give it to your offspring.”
Side Note: The problem I see today with so many church, ministry, and organizational leaders is that they have developed a mentality that life can’t go on without them. I believe many fear facing the reality of it going on in their absence. Yet by holding on they are possibly holding back the great things God has in store for the future. Moses was strong, energetic, and didn’t even need bifocals when God said it was time for him to move on.
Joshua had to learn this lesson too. Life had stopped for this young leader. Though the rest of the world had moved on he had not. His leader. His commander. His mentor. His friend was dead. Yet amid his mourning, there are two lessons God had for Joshua as well.
1. Moses was dead. I think Joshua was well aware of this fact! The point in this statement was, I believe, for Joshua to realize God’s plan does not stop with man. God had sovereignly allowed Moses to live as long as he did and to accomplish all that he had. God used Moses to accomplish what he had for him to accomplish and then took him home. This is how God works.
2. God wanted Joshua to see that life goes on and he must as well! “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go…” (Joshua 1:2).
GET UP and GET GOING! Joshua…
Life must go on!
Elizabeth Elliott provided an excellent example of this as well.
Elizabeth left America to follow God’s call to Ecuador. She and her husband along with their friends gave up everything to reach these tribal people. One would think after her husband was killed while reaching them that their ministry would end there. That was not the case. Ms. Elliot renewed contact with the tribe over the next two years. In 1958, accompanied by her 3-year-old daughter and the sister of one of the murdered missionaries, she moved in with the Waoranis, known to their neighbors as Aucas, or savages. She ministered to them and remained in their settlement, in the foothills of the Andes, subsisting on barbecued monkey limbs and other local fare and living in rain-swept huts. She knew God’s work must go on.
God not only used her to reach the Aucas for Jesus but also to write two books stemming from her experience in Ecuador. Kathryn Long, a professor at Wheaton College called her writing “the definitive inspirational mission stories for the second half of the 20th century.”
Her first book, “Through Gates of Splendor,” published in 1957, recounted the ill-fated mission of her first husband, Jim Elliot, and four other American men to bring Protestant Christianity to the remote Waorani (also spelled Huaorani) Indians. It ranked No. 9 on Christianity Today’s list of the top 50 books that shaped evangelicals!
God has also used her to touch the lives of thousands through her website, books, podcast and articles. This all was able to happen because Elizabeth realized that…
God’s plan and purpose insist that life must and will go on!