As part of my Bible reading plan, I’ve been in the Old Testament. In the last chapters of Deuteronomy, Moses is nearing the end of his life and he leaves his people with a lifeline: a choice they need to make individually and collectively -- to choose life.
A true expert in any field is someone who can simplify complexity and explain concepts in simple terms to the inexperienced. Moses is a man who has known God for 80 years. He has experienced God for a lifetime and he simplifies how to be in a relationship with God.
We must choose life as stated in Deuteronomy 30:19-20. “You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him”.
Notice that it is in the wilderness that Moses first met God. It is in the wilderness that he received his identity and purpose. It is in the wilderness that he led God’s people. It is in the wilderness that he was taken up to be with God.
His character was built in the wilderness. His defining moments were in the wilderness. It is there that he learned how to love, obey, and commit to God. And in doing so, he chose life.
When my younger brother was born, my parents sent me to stay with my grandparents. I was three years old. A few years later my mom went to work in Yemen as a nurse and this time both my brother and I were back with my grandparents. This happened again when my mom went to work a few years later in Bahrain. Then during middle school, we came to America. Also, during high school, we moved from Philadelphia to Dallas.
The several moves and lack of permanency shaped my childhood. As a result, I went all the way through high school feeling lost and often out of place. Even though I started my journey with Jesus at a young age, it wasn’t until well into my adulthood that I truly recognized who I am and whose I am. Those years of wandering were hard, but it also pushed me towards finding my identity and purpose.
As we are wandering in the wilderness of this pandemic, our hearts are weary, we lose focus, we lose hope, we experience suffering and loss, but it is also in these experiences that we get to know God at a deeper level. It is in this wandering that we get shaped in our character and grow in our resilience. It is in this wandering that we are able to sift out our priorities and identify what really matters.
Let us choose to love Him when we are given life experiences that define us. Let us choose to obey Him when we have to make heartbreaking choices at times. Let us hold fast to Him when hope seems lost. And by doing so, let us choose life.