How many times has God saved me? When Moses stands before Israel, again, to recap their wanderings, I can see myself standing in the crowd waiting for the final pronouncement of doom. His speech lists our grumblings, our faithlessness, our willfulness, and outright stubbornness. He reminds us how often God clearly said to do this, go here, stop here, and wait. Why is it we could not see how God meant to save us from harm? As Moses talks, my heart and knees begin to fail me; I look around at the few friends that, like me, are still alive but hollow-eyed and weary of being a disappointment. We deserve what is probably coming next. There it is; we will not cross over.
I remember the initial joy of accepting Christ and the freedom I felt from living a life of sin and guilt. Still, it took another 10 years of wandering through muck that made the Israelites journey look like a walk in the park, and the sting of death before I realized how God was saving me from enemies inside and outside myself.
What a difference from this scene in the Old Testament (paralleling my old walk) and Luke’s description of Christ’s birth. The song of angels bursts through the night sky, announcing that peace and God’s goodwill was about to shower on mankind. No more need to follow a cloud or pillar of fire. We were given a Savior to walk on the dirt path alongside us. He ran ahead and sacrificed His life to prevent us from certain immortal death. Even my daily weakness in obeying Him does not condemn me from His promise of living forever with Him in peace. I now recognize His plan is to mold me into His image. So instead of hanging my head in shame and defeat from my failings, I will sing, shout, and dance with thanksgiving and complete surrender to Jesus Christ, my Savior. I will cross over with this life.