Every Christian knows the story of Moses. Born to slaves, hidden in a basket made of reeds, found by an Egyptian princess, raised as a prince of Egypt, murdered an Egyptian, exiled himself to be a shepherd in the desert, found God in a burning bush, threatened and brought down on Egypt the plagues, and brought out the people of Israel from slavery. When the Egyptian army chased after the fleeing Israelites, Moses raised his hands over the Red Sea and it parted to let his people pass. When the Egyptians followed, he raised his hands again and the water swallowed up their enemies. Then there's the 40 years of wandering in the desert while God prepared the hearts of His people for the promised land. Then there's the Ten Commandments!
The story of Moses is a great story! The stuff of legends. What people don't know is how it ended. Moses was used mightily by God to bring His people to the land of milk and honey but God did not allow Moses to set foot on that land. Instead, He brought Moses up onto a mountain on the border of the promised land and showed him the land, and then God kissed his beloved servant and Moses died.
The people of Israel mourned for Moses but after their grief, they all crossed over to the land that God promised them. After 120 years of preparing for his role as the man who freed the Israelites to lead them to the land of promise, Moses died. He didn't see it happen but it happened.
* * * * * * *
My sister Jacqui spends some nights over at my house. Since I have no household help, she comes over regularly to help take care of the boys. One night, we were talking about our mother, whose death anniversary is this month.
"Jacqui, it's been five years since Mama died," I said, not in the exact words as I'm writing now but I'm paraphrasing. I continued, "You know how I said in my eulogy that I am clinging to God's promise in Jeremiah 29:11? That God has plans to prosper us and not to harm us, and that His plans are to give us a hope and a future? And then I said that I'm excited to see what God has planned for our family? Well, it's been five years. I don't see any changes. In fact, sometimes I think God took Mama away not for us but for her sake. If she could see what our family's like today, I think it would kill her anyway. So maybe God knew what was going to happen and so He took her away because He knew she wouldn't be able to take it."
I've been feeling really bummed about this. Maybe even resentful and impatient and maybe even betrayed. I have begun doubting God and His promises. I was afraid.
* * * * * * *
This evening, at our prayer meeting, we were talking about the problems and situations where we want to see deliverance. I said, "I've been praying about (certain things) for more than a year now but I don't see any changes. Am I not praying long and hard enough?"
And my friend Earl said, "Don't ever look to the results! God will move in His time. You must pray in faith that He will answer you."
And then she suddenly said, "Your mother prayed and prayed for you. And now, five years after she died, her prayers have been answered. Look at you now!"
"But she's not here to see it!" I cried, my tears spilling over in despair.
"It doesn't matter! What matters is her prayers were answered!"
* * * * * * *
Mama prayed for all of us. I don't know what she prayed about for the other members of our family but I know she wanted me to have a happy marriage, to want and love motherhood, to see the value of family, to be friends with my siblings, to forgive my Papa and my older brother, and to go back to God and to be in fellowship with His people.
Every time Mama said, "I'm praying for you," I would lovingly say that I don't believe in marriage, I don't like kids, I value my career more than anything, it's next to impossible to be friends with people you don't get along with, and that I don't see myself having fellowships. I told her, "Mama, it's just not going to happen."
Well, it happened. All of it. I didn't realize Mama's prayers were answered until Earl pointed it out. And I am amazed! Everything my mother wanted for me, her dreams for me, the prayers she stormed the gates of heaven for me, they've all come true! She may not have seen it in her lifetime but they came true!
I almost fainted at the realization. I have been rebuked, I have been made to see what I've been blind to all this time—that God does move mightily and He does so in His time and in His way!
I have been delivered from my doubts and my fears. I now again cling to the promise of that hope and future. Thank You, God! I'm excited to see Your will unfold in me, in my marriage, in my kids, in the lives of my father and my siblings! Amen.