Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Just Around the Bend

The dogs, Asherel and I will be heading to NY to visit my parents next week and the car is packed to the brim with kayaks. My crazy adventurous sister Wendy will be visiting from Seattle as well, and so we intend to explore the Susquehanna River in my inflatable kayaks. I can't wait to see what lies beyond the turn I explored with my brother John on that river a few months back.

I love adventures and get a little antsy when I don't travel. Something unusual is always waiting to be seen. I am one of those people who can't stand NOT going around the next bend in the trail. My family says this leads me to propel them on marathon "forced marches". I do find it hard to turn back when there is a hidden curve ahead that maybe hides something beautiful I must see. The problem for me is that almost every road has bends ahead that hide what comes next. I can't stand not to keep moving forward and take a peek.

Sadly, it is rare in life or circumstances that we get to keep moving forward. Almost always, something forces us to retreat, turn back, only glimpse the tantalizing bend in the distance that we may never be allowed to reach. I always felt sorry for Moses, when God told him that after all those years of leading his people through the desert, he would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land. He was only allowed to stand atop a mountain and see it in the distance. His people would enter, but he would have to content himself with knowing he had brought them there safely. Right on the brink, he himself would be turned away. He would not drink the milk and honey of the land he had been told to journey towards for forty years.

It seems cruel. The Bible doesn't record Moses as ranting, raving, mourning, arguing, or complaining. He just looks out over the land at journey's end, and then he dies. We are told that he is not allowed to enter the land because he disobeyed God long ago on the journey across the desert. After all Moses did, he is being punished for one act of angry insubordination!? His life's goal is severed from completion just as he is on the cusp of grasping it? Why why why!

Well, one thing is certain- God takes sin very seriously. But I think another point is being made. Moses is an encouragement to us. We may journey a long way, always hoping to reach the lofty and magnificent culmination of our mortal travels when we close our eyes for the final time. And sometimes, we won't make it. Some of us won't even come as close as Moses did.


In the New Testament a few thousand years later, guess who stood atop the Mountain with Jesus Himself? Moses!

So be faithful, be obedient, trust God, and don't give up even when you know you will not succeed. In the end, you will stand atop the world with God Himself and all Heaven will be open to you.

Deuteronomy 32:52 (NIV)
Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.”

Matthew 17:1-3 (NIV)
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. [2] There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. [3] Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Deuteronomy 30:4,8-14 (NIV)
Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. [8] You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. [9] Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, [10] if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. [11] Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. [12] It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” [13] Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” [14] No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

-save a dog- hollowcreekfarm.org


  1. Wow! This was a very encouraging post. I never thought about the story in the NT about Moses standing there. Thanks for connecting that for me. Speaking of standing on a mountain, I recently saw a quote that said, "Jesus doesn't stand on top of the mountain and say, "Come on, you can make it!" He stands at the bottom and says, "It is finished!"

    1. Thank you Melanie. I love the OT, so full of wondrous stories that are complemented and completed in the NT.