Moses was delivered out of Egypt by the mighty hand of God, rescued from bondage and slavery, and stumbled into the desert. The Promised Land lay before him and yet he knew he would wander many days (years, decades) before ever laying eyes on the border of that haven. Fighting with grumbling Israelites in the wilderness, begging God to provide some appeasement to their lot, Moses wasn’t just lost in the wilderness. He hadn’t simply taken a wrong turn or forgotten the way home. He was sojourning. This was his life.
Moses wasn’t new to the whole “wilderness wandering” thing. We remember his flight from Egypt after the murder of the Egyptian, and his meeting with God in the burning bush. It was in the Midian outback, if you will, where Moses was shaped and primed for his life’s task. Moses would deliver the Hebrew people from slavery and bring them to the land Promised to them. Not a simple task for a tongue-tied shepherd with zero self-confidence. It was through the power of the Living God and through Him alone that Moses was able to make his first appeals to Pharaoh. Power that revealed itself to Moses in the desert, while he was sojourning in a land not meant for him.
Aside from a synopsis of the Exodus story, I remind you of Moses to prove a point. Sometimes, we’re sojourning, just as Moses did. Sometimes we’re not where we’re supposed to be, where God has called us to go. Sometimes we are in the middle of things, living in a place that is only meant to be temporary. And in that desert, that wilderness, that outback, we are set up and primed for the work of God.Over the past couple of weeks I’ve found myself saying “I’m just sojourning here.” My loved ones understand exactly what I mean when I say this. I am called to another place. Toronto is not where I am meant to be. I am on my way to my proverbial Promised Land.
The Lord has asked me to step out in faith and submit myself to His will for the purpose of seeing the Kingdom advance. This call has lead me to apply to work with a missions organization that serves in the UK and Ireland. I’ve served in Southern Ireland for the past two summers, and I’ve witnessed young people commit their lives to Jesus. Let me tell you, no pay cheque will ever be big enough to shadow the beauty and reward that comes from seeing someone commit their life to Jesus. They see that life is not about them. They understand that there is more to life than this world. They know they need a Saviour. Ireland is a land ripe for revival, full of the most beautiful hearts I’ve ever encountered, and overflowing with beauty. I had never felt what “coming home” was like until I stepped out of a 12 seater van and into the Irish countryside.
Toronto buzzes and flies while I dream of those mountains. Every time I walk by the CN Tower (nearly every day) I frown and pray it would turn into the Rock of Cashel. “There’s a tourist attraction for you, Torontonians. Enough of this pointy thing.” I feel tired of being in a place where my heart is restless. My feet are not grounded. My hands are not doing the work they were created to do. Then I think of Moses, wandering in the desert, slowly making his way to the Promised Land. In doing so, he fulfilled a great call on his life, and was prepared and moulded for the blessing ahead. His sojourning was not wasted. It was not aimless. He was not lost or forgotten. He was prepared, stretched, blessed, and met with God in one of the most intimate exchanges that has ever been recorded.
Sometimes the road from where we are to where we’re supposed to be is longer than we would like, but we are never left to find the way ourselves. Our wandering isn’t wandering at all. We’re upheld in our temporary home and carried to our Promised Land. God makes true His promise from Psalm 146: “The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless.” We are dear to His heart, fellow sojourners, and we are far from lost.