“Then Moses said these words to all Israel, telling them: I’m 120 years old today. I can’t move around well anymore. Plus, the LORD told me “You won’t cross the Jordan River.”
Then Moses called Joshua and, with all Israel watching, said to him: “Be strong and fearless because you are the one who will lead this people to the land the LORD swore to their ancestors to give to them; you are the one who will divide up the land for them.” – Deuteronomy 31:1-2, 7 CEB
Many of us do not live in the same places where we grew up. Most folks will have more than one job, more than one career path, and live in mutiple places because of it. When we move, we may stay in touch with a few folks from the places we lived, but for the most part we move on with our lives as well.
While this is all part of life’s journey, wouldn’t it be great to see the results of our labors? I wonder sometimes if my life has made a difference in the lives of others. Thanks to social media, I know, that in some instances, my labor has has not been in vain, but in most cases, I have no idea. I simply have to trust that God will use that work to help others.
I simply have to trust that God will use that work to help others.
In today’s passage we see Moses and the Isrealites on the brink of entering the Promised Land. Here’s the catch, Moses is not going with them. Joshua is. Joshua will now lead the people of God. God used Moses to bring them this far, and now it’s Joshua’s turn, so Moses hands over the keys to let Joshua drive.
And this is the way God works from generation to generation. We may never see the fruits of our labors in full, but we trust that others will.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood this during the Civil Rights Movement when, with his last speech, he said:
“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop.
And I don’t mind.
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”
See the beauty? It’s about something bigger than ourselves. Moses understood it, Rev. King knew it, and it’s a great reminder for us all. We’re in this together, and while we may not see the end of the Promised Land together, it where God has been leading us all along.
It’s also our reminder that we should always mentoring our replacements. In churchy terms, we call it discipleship – doing what we can to prepare whoever is next up to serve.
Prayer: Lord, use me today to help others, and while I may not see the fruit of that service, I trust that you will use it. It’s all part of your bigger picture for your kingdom. Amen.