“Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.” – Exodus 2:23-25.
Are the best days of your life behind or in front of you? Our outlook on life—and our answer to that question—can change with time. When we’re younger, we look ahead, wanting to grow up. And once we’ve grown older, we yearn for the past, wanting to be young again. But when we walk with God, whatever our age, the best is yet to come.
Moses is a case in point. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt. Pharaoh feared that one day the Israelites would turn against the Egyptians. So he ordered a terrible punishment – all the first-born male babies of the Israelites were to be killed. Moses was one of those baby boys. But he managed to escape and, ironically, he ended up growing up in Pharaoh’s palace. But, after 40 years of living in privilege, Moses found himself on the run for murder. He arrived in Midian which was in the desert; basically in the middle of nowhere.
Sometimes we can feel like we’ve ended up in the middle of nowhere – like Moses, miles from the comfort of Pharaoh’s palace, herding sheep far from civilization. It’s as though God has taken us out of the game and put us on a shelf – somewhere obscure and hidden, and so we think that our best days are behind us. God often does His greatest works in the wilderness, in those places where we feel as though our best days will never be repeated. Our future looks anything but bright.
But God is doing things in the Median desert that we can’t even begin to imagine. When we least expect it, He comes along and says, “I have a plan for you.” Moses was probably expecting to spend the rest of his old age (he was 80 years old by then), in the wilderness. God had other plans, however. The best was yet to come for Moses. God isn’t finished with us yet either. The bottom line is, everyone knows our days are numbered, so we should be capitalizing on the moments we do have by living life in a way that matters.
Psalm 68:19 says, “Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.” God gives us time in 24-hour increments. We simply have to trust Him, focus on His direction for today and be present in the moment. We do that by living a purpose-driven life, not a time-driven life. Because what is truly important is not how much time we have but what we do with the time we have.
Theologian Jonathan Edwards wrote “Resolved: Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can. Resolved: to live with all my might while I do live. Resolved, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, did I make wise use of my time?”
- How does Moses’ experience change your perspective on what you’re going through at the moment?
- What are the benefits of expecting your best days to be ahead of you, not behind you? What are the things that need to be shed from your thought life in order to do that?