Not the greatest birthday present

Linda is away for March, Clayton Bjelan brings you today’s devotion…

They had a big party with all my family and pretended that day was my actual birthday

Joshua 1:1-5

Reference:  v2  “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them–to the Israelites” (NIV Bible)

Explore: I was four years old and I had to have my tonsils out… not all that dramatic – except that the operation was actually ON my fourth birthday – not the greatest birthday present!

My parents were very smart though – they realised that I really didn’t know (as a four year old) the date of my birthday, so the week before they had a big party with all my family and pretended that day was my actual birthday.

But there was one present I got once I was out of surgery and that was a large Mickey Mouse soft toy.  And I still had my Mickey Mouse just a few months ago – it had lost its nose and was actually pretty dirty and disgusting, but I’d held onto it all these years because of the special memories that were associated with it.  However, a few months ago my wife convinced me that really we couldn’t do anything with it – we couldn’t give it to our kids to play with (too dirty) and it was pretty pointless just storing it in the shed… so I took a photo of it and with a heavy heart realised that hoarding Mickey really wasn’t going to help me in my life and I needed to throw it out.

Application:  I think if we read this verse about God saying to Joshua “Moses my servant is dead.” – it can, at first glance, seem quite harsh.  I mean Moses was so important to the Israelites and their journey – and it sounds like God is just treating him like yesterday’s newspaper.

But in reality I think it was probably a whole lot different – we know through many other parts of the Bible that God really treasured Moses and valued him.  But, here we also see God making sure that Joshua doesn’t get stuck in the past.  It’s almost like he’s saying to Joshua, “Yes, it was incredible what I achieved through Moses – but don’t catch yourself looking back all the time… I want to do some incredible things through you too!”

Or, to put it another way, “Keep the memories of Mickey and your fourth birthday in your mind – but don’t let an old toy take up room in your life when I have much greater things in store for you.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to learn from, appreciate and treasure the past – but help me not to be stuck there when you have so much more for me.

God respects the past, but always has a focus on the present and the future – how can you do that to?

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This article was written by Clayton Bjelan

1 comment:

Not the greatest birthday presentMarch 6, 2012 at 5:54 PMReply

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