The Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” Deuteronomy 34:4
Verse 10 in this passage of scripture reads: Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. There is no bigger and more impressive life in Jewish history than that of Moses. No one could ever surpass his faithfulness, power, and personal knowledge of God. Moses will be forever remembered as the man of faith who helped to lead the Hebrew people out of captivity in Egypt and right up to the edge of the promised land. But even Moses could go only so far. There were limits. God allowed Moses to see the goal before him—from Mount Pisgah Moses surveyed the promised inheritance of his people—but he would never enter the land of Canaan. Moses died before he attained the goal that he had been striving for.
This could certainly be viewed as a rather tragic story. When you work with God, however, you quickly realize that God’s dreams, visions, and goals for us are always bigger than our own. God’s work—great work—always requires more than we can give. In fact, if you can accomplish in your lifetime the work before you, then it probably isn’t the God-sized effort you were meant to engage in. Great works of faith require a company of people spanning multiple generations. When we work with God, the most we should hope for is being able to see on the horizon that God is calling us to. As Isaac Newton said, “We stand on the shoulders of giants.” And if we pursue the grand work God intends for us, one day others will stand upon our shoulders, and their view of the world will be far more expansive than Moses’ and our own.
What great work is God calling you toward?
Lord, I pray that when I come to the end of my days, my work with You will bring me to the edge of something truly grand. Like Moses, I will be more than satisfied if I can just catch a glimpse of the promised land that You have been leading me toward. Standing on the edge of Your promise without being able to enter fully into it will remind me that Your visions are as eternal and expansive as Your life. I get to play only a small role in the cosmic drama that You have birthed me into. And yet, the view from this earthly stage is extraordinary. Thank You for including me in it all, and keep calling me toward the horizon and to new vistas. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.