Episode 1. A Burnt Out Old Wreck
Every now and then, it feels like life has passed us by. We’re on the shelf and we’re past our ‘use-by’ date. But listen to me – your best is yet to come
Join Berni, as he takes a look at life – from a different perspective.
Every now and then, it feels as though life has passed you by. As though, you’re on the shelf and past your “use-by” date. But listen to me … your best is yet to come!
We’re starting a new series this week called, “Your Best is yet to Come”. You know, we all go through this sense of being washed up at some point. It’s over, I’m past my prime and you don’t have to be an old fogy to end up in that place.
I was inspired recently by Margaret Court, the greatest tennis player of all time. Now Margaret has won 62 Grand Slam titles and she did that between 1960 and 1975. Nobody else has come anywhere close to that record.
I heard her talking about the fact that when she finished this great tennis career and she started having babies and raising a family, she felt all washed up. She went through fear and depression and hopelessness and sickness and in the midst of it all God gave her a sense that her best was yet to come. Now I won’t tell you anymore of her story because she’ll be joining me next week on the program to tell us all about that herself.
Now whether we’re some tennis superstar or whether we’re an ordinary punter like you and me, we can feel like it’s all over. I’ve spoken to teenagers who feel like it’s all over; I’ve spoken to 70 and 80 year olds who feel like it’s all over; like there’s no real purpose, like there’s nothing to put a spring into your step.
I think that’s important, I love to have a spring in my step, I love to have a sparkle in my eye, I love to be passionate and enthusiastic about something. What about you? Let me introduce you to an old timer who was all washed up, he’s a man called Moses.
Now Moses is a well known person, we’ve all probably heard of Moses but it’s a funny thing about well known people whether it’s Margaret Court or Moses, we imagine somehow with all that fame and recognition, how could they possibly have any problems in life?
But people are people, we all go through that stuff and when we do we feel like we’re the only ones, well, let me give you a revelation today, we all go through that stuff. Let me say it again, we all go through that stuff and what I find is that the more that I get on the frontline of helping other people with my kind of gift of story telling the more the world wants to attack me because there’s a spiritual battle going on.
Anyway back to Moses, here’s the background. The nation of Israel ended up as slaves in Egypt and they were breeding like rabbits, I mean there was so many of them that Pharaoh was concerned that the whole nation of Egypt would be over-run by the Hebrews. So what he decides to do is to put them all into slavery and he tries to have all the young Hebrew baby boys killed.
Moses is one of those baby boys and he escapes and he ends up growing up, ironically, in Pharaohs palace and Moses, even though he grew up in this Egyptian privilege in the palace of Pharaoh, Moses always had a heart for his own people, the Hebrews, who were in such terrible conditions in their slavery.
And one day after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his people were and he watched them in their hard labour and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people and he looked this way and he looked that way, he didn’t see anyone so he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
On the next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting and he said to one of the other, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” And they said, “What, have they made you ruler over us?” So he thought, “Oh no, the word’s out that I killed this Egyptian, other people know.” And in fact, when Pharaoh heard of it he tried to have Moses killed but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian where he sat down by a well.
Now, here’s Moses, Moses is born a Hebrew, he’s put into a reed container onto the river Nile and hidden and Pharaoh’s daughter finds him and he goes from being a Hebrew baby on death row to growing up in enormous privilege in Pharaohs palace and then he’s on the run for murder and he’s in Midian which is a foreign country in the middle of the desert.
Even though Moses had his ups and downs, in the downs Moses’ trait shone out, God gave him a heart like this. He goes and he stands up for the Hebrews who are being beaten. Later on you can read the story in Exodus, chapter 3, he sees at the well that he sat down at, these young daughters of a priest being abused by some rough shepherds and he goes and stands up for them.
That’s what Moses was like, it’s what God put in his heart, it’s what made him tick and it’s the same with you and me. There are things that we are, things we love to do, things that just make us fire.
For Moses it was a heart for his people and a sense of justice and God, later on, used that mightily. For me it’s story telling, now let’s hang on to that because we’re going to look at that in a lot more detail later on this week.
We go through roller coaster rides, down and up, down and up, up and down and then ultimately we feel like we end up in the middle of nowhere. Like Moses, from Pharaohs palace to herding sheep outback and beyond. It’s the way life goes sometimes.
It’s like God takes us out of the game and puts us on a shelf somewhere hidden and we think it’s all over, but you know, a good bottle of wine matures and ages in a dark cool cellar. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly hidden away in a cocoon. A baby grows in its mother’s womb hidden away from everybody’s eyes.
It turns out God does His greatest works in the dark, in the desert, in those places where we feel completely alone, where we feel like it’s all over. Moses spent years wandering around this land, he knew it like the back of his hand and later, when God made him the leader of his people, Israel, during the 40 years exodus, they spent a lot of their time around this land. Even in the desert God was getting Moses ready, getting him to know the land by herding sheep, he knew it like the back of his hand, it equipped him for the role that God had for him.
When we’re in that wilderness like Moses was we think it’s all over, we think God has given up on us, but that’s not it. God is doing stuff in that wilderness that we can’t begin to imagine and what’s more, God is out in that wilderness with us and when we least expect it He comes along and says, “Now I have a plan for you.”
That’s what he did with Moses, He gave Moses one of the greatest leadership roles in Israel’s history, this man who was a burnt out old wreck at the back of the desert. This man who had no future, this man who’d killed an Egyptian and thought that he had nothing left. God came and spoke to him in the desert and said, “Moses, go tell Pharaoh, go tell him to let my people go.”
Moses didn’t realise it but God was in that desert, Moses didn’t realise it but in all that time in that wilderness God was getting him ready because for Moses, in that desert, his best was yet to come and for you and me in our wilderness, can I encourage you to believe that your best is yet to come!