Friday, February 17, 2012

Moses and Me

I just happened to drop into the temple office the other day right when they were looking for a key that had been misplaced the night before. I was the only one in the temple that day that was there when the key was misplaced and I was able to tell them who misplaced it. I don't think that is a coincidence. They needed that key right that minute and they would not have been able to find it if I had not walked in at that moment. No, it wasn't me that misplaced it.
Moses' float down the Nile to the Egyptian princess wanting a child was representative of all the little tender mercies we receive at the Lord's hand. We are guided with the Lord's hand and we are all known to Him.
While teaching seminary this year, I have unearthed the stories of the Old Testament that I had only surface learned before this year. I knew most of the stories. But, I had never read the Old Testament cover to cover. These are some of the things that I have learned from Moses:

1. We all have a mission or calling. Like Moses, we feel inadequate at times and like sleep deprived young mothers, we often feel like the task is too tedious or too long. But, then come the blessings and the miracles when we are saved from the burdens of life and see the fruits of our labors grow and make us feel overjoyed. Like the parting of the Red Sea, seeing our little children learning to follow righteously is a joyous occasion.
2. Each of us have to overcome worldliness. We have to get the Egypt out of us. The sooner we do, the sooner we acquire the peace of mind that feels like the promised land. It's like taking the garbage out. If we hang on to our garbage (even if it doesn't seem like garbage) our whole world begins to stink. We have to daily ask ourselves, are the things I own, owning me? Tonight Glenn and I moved all the things out of one of the extra bedrooms so they can lay carpet in there. I WILL NOT move everything back into that room. I must get rid of accumulated STUFF. Things can suffocate us if we're not careful.
3. Faith precedes the miracle and the everyday sacrifices we make and rituals like daily prayer and scripture study remind us of the ultimate sacrifice of The Son. I'm frankly glad that we are not required to sacrifice livestock as they did in the desert. I will gladly offer up a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
4 Sickness and trials follow us on our journey. But if we look to God, we can live like the children of Israel looked to the serpent on the pole. How sick must we be before we ask for a blessing? We don't have to wait until we drag ourselves lifeless before Him. Bad things come to good people as well as bad. But, the Lord helps those who ask in faith.
5. The Lord gave manna, quail and water when they couldn't find any for themselves. The things we can't provide for ourselves can be miraculously acquired when we humble ourselves before Him.
6. When we become greedy everything begins to fall apart or become rotten as the food did when they began to store up more than they needed for the day.
7. When the children of Israel turned back to their evil ways, all the promises made to those who stayed faithful were withheld. They were not allowed into the promised land.
8. The worship of idols were wasting time in the children of Israel 's lives. They kept slipping back to superstition as we often slip into mind numbing habits that waste our time and take us from responsibilities of family. Enjoyable things come to bad people as well as good but don't be mislead into thinking that everything enjoyable lasts forever. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth....For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
9. Lastly, the importance of following the prophet (as Moses was their prophet and head) was one of the most important lessons in Exodus.
Our journey through this life is filled with all the trials of the 40 years of wandering through the wilderness. That story is to help us as we wander through the wilderness from conversion to the promised land. I'm glad my journey isn't laden with quail and desert heat.