I opened my Bible to Deuteronomy 34 today because for once I’m NOT behind on my daily reading plan. I love this part of the Word. LOVE.
Moses is at the end of his life. He’d just delivered the last instructions from the Lord to the people of Israel that He would ever speak. He’d been serving them for 40 years, and it was almost over.
They were ready now to walk over in to the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. He’d trained him and gotten him ready. Moses had laid hands on him and transferred the anointing.
He didn’t get to go in because he messed up. He struck the rock twice instead of obeying God’s instructions to speak to it. To show the entire community of Israel the power of words.
I think it’s kind of funny, actually, the difference of Moses’ perception of why he wasn’t going in and God’s perspective on it. Anywhere you read Moses’ viewpoint, he tells Israel it’s all their fault. “Because of you…”
But at the end here, God reminds him, “It’s because you failed to demonstrate my holiness…”
I wonder if Moses ever admitted that. “Yep. It was my fault.” Selah – that’s the way my mind works when I read the Word.
But it didn’t matter. Admit it or not, he wasn’t going in. But God still wanted him to see it. So He took Moses to the top of the mountain and showed him the land. As far as the eye could see, there it was. The Promised Land. The land flowing with milk and honey. Grapes the size of pomegranates. The land of blessings.
I’ve been to the top of a mountain. At a crazy time in my life. My parents had been divorced a year or two. We moved from our family home to a not-so-good neighborhood. My parents stopped going to church, but my grandparents kept taking us. I was questioning everything.
And in the summer between the 4th and 5th grades, I went to the Adirondack Mountains to Pastor Dalaba’s homestead with the Missionettes for a week. And we climbed to the top of Crane Mountain.
I’ll never forget it.
Not everyone went to the top. Some leaders stayed farther down the mountain with the ones that didn’t want to go all the way up. But I wanted to go.
It was hard work. Skinny trails. No trails. Rocky places. Mud. Steep climbs. Some places we had to hold hands so no one would fall.
Then, we were at the top and the views were stunning. Breathtaking. It felt like you could see forever.
That view. I’ll never forget that view. Standing on that mountain taking it all in – all 5’1” and 60 pounds of me – I never felt so small and yet so wanted in all my life.
After all, the same God that made that view out of words alone thousands of years earlier thought the world needed one of me too.
Really? One of me? Insignificant me? Me – who was so unsure of everything? The world needed one of me?
Am I that significant?
Well…He thought so. Me…not so much.
And every time I read Deuteronomy 34, I remember. I remember my trip to the mountains and that feeling. I remember that view. I remember the times around the fire at night. Pastor Dalaba talking about Him. So personally. The worship. Feeling Him there. He loved me. I was sure of it.
Am I significant?
Me – always wanting what I didn’t have. Escaping into books. Home wasn’t fun. I wanted the Cleavers and – well – that wasn’t us.
I walked away. Insecure. Unsure. Who am I?
Am I significant?
In those years, the answer was always no.
I stopped going to church at all. And the memories of my mountain faded as all memories do if you don’t keep them fresh. Keep them alive.
That’s why over and over God warned the people not to forget Him when they settled into the promise. Don’t forget. Always remember.
I’m not significant. I don’t matter much.
Those were my thoughts in those years. I wandered aimlessly for a while, doing what teenage girls do.
High school. Cheerleading. Homecoming. Prom. College.
Who am I? What should I do? Does it really matter? Can I make a difference?
Then I found Him again. Or did He find me?
All I know is He helped me find me. And in my heart, He took me back to my mountain. The world needed one of me.
He took Moses to the mountain because He loved Him. He didn’t have to take him there. He could have just finished his life out in the camp among the people. But He wanted Moses to see it.
They spent his final moments on earth looking at the promise. Talking one last time. I wonder what they spoke of….and then Moses breathed his last breath. And the Lord buried him Himself.
God buried His friend on that mountain. With His own hand. God loved Moses. And Oh what love. What relationship. God buried him Himself. That always makes me cry. What tenderness.
Oh how He loves us!
It’s been 26 years since He took me back to Him – back to my mountain in my heart. Since He flooded me with love and filled me with purpose. Since He reminded me the world NEEDS one of me.
Sometimes I remember. But sometimes I still forget.
Am I significant?
Significance – being worthy of attention; importance.
We all want to be significant. I see the search for it all around me – especially in the teens.
- How many likes did I get on my selfie?
- How many friends do I have?
- Does anyone like me?
- What name is on my clothes?
But not just in the teens. We all want to be significant. Important. We all want to make an impact and leave an imprint. But sometimes we look in the wrong place.
- What’s my title?
- How much money do I have in the bank?
- What’s that number on the scale?
- The price of the car?
- Square footage of the house?
Does it matter? It can NEVER be found in those empty places.
Or – if I’m being really honest, at times it’s:
- How many hits did I get on my blog?
- Did anyone like or comment?
Not always – but there are days….don’t we all have them? Where we look for significance in the wrong place?
But as I read Deuteronomy again, and He took me to my mountain again, He reminded me – again:
Significance is not in a number. Or a career. A promotion. It’s not in a house or a car or thing. It’s not in the number of friends you have. Or followers. Or likes. Or how good you are at something.
You are significant because the same God that made the mountains and formed the sea and can call each star in every galaxy by name – that same God thought the world was incomplete – lacking – not quite good enough as it was – without one of you.
He thought, “What will make this world better is if I make one of – YOU.” Toni. Mikel. Alex. Mookie. Alli. Sherri. Linda. Sue. Sally. Jean. Nick. Jill. Alisa. Anne. Katie. Kristy. Brooke. Ron. Jon. Sydney. Noah. Lauren.
And whether you impact the masses or the neighbor, your life counts. He needed one of you.
You are significant. He created you with such purpose and value that the world just isn’t quite complete without you.
Oh, I want my kids to know – He thought the world needed one of YOU.
I want my family and friends to know – He thought the world needed one of YOU.
I want my church to know…and my blog followers…and my Facebook friends – He thought the world wasn’t quite good enough without one of YOU.
It’s my prayer today that you (and I) will rest in that. Rest in His love. Rest in His wisdom to know that life wasn’t good enough until He created us. Lord, help us know: I am loved. I am wanted.
I am significant. Because He loves me.
You are God’s masterpiece – His finest work of art.
You are significant.