I had an MRI of my brain today.
The days, weeks and months leading up to today have been rough. Real rough. Without complaining too much I’ll just tell you that I have been plagued with a headache 24 hours a day, since MAY. Ya, it’s been rough.
When my neurologist informed me that he believed this test was necessary, he told me I’d be having a “Fiesta” MRI.
“A fiesta MRI?” I thought. What an oxymoron for a test to see if there’s something wrong with my BRAIN! A fiesta was last thing I imagined I would be experiencing while laying in a dark tube having my brain scanned. But then again, I knew I could practice some serious ‘mind over matter’ skills while lying there, so maybe I actually could conjure up a fiesta? 😂
On my way to the hospital I was listening to my Bible. The story of Moses was read to me by a very Shakespearean sounding man on the You Version Bible. I love Moses. I’ve felt a connection with him since I first completed a 9 month study of him at BSF many, many years ago. I love how human and flawed and real Moses was with his emotions. I think I’d respond to God a lot like he did if God gave me the task of leading hundreds of thousands of people. I’d surely believe I was unqualified. I’d think God made a mistake. I’d be afraid.
But Moses obeyed. He trusted God and gave his best effort to do all God instructed him to do.
For many years I was heartbroken to think that Moses spent years and years with these stiff necked people, trying to lead them, despite all of their complaints, grumbling, and flat out disobedience. After all of the frustration, Moses reacted to a situation by disobeying God’s command to speak to a rock by hitting the rock instead. As a result, after 40 long years of desert wandering, Moses’ punishment was that he was denied access into the Promised Land. I’ll be honest, at first I thought God was being a little cruel. His punishment seemed strangely severe. I mean, Moses made 99 good choices, but was disciplined for the 1 mistake. Moses was able to lead all million of the Israelites within view of the land of milk and honey, but he did not get to enter it. Instead, God led Moses to the top of a mountain where he was able to to see it from the crest.
Last year I was studying Exodus again. I soaked up all of Moses’ story, recalling all the reasons why I admire him so. And as I read the account of Moses’ last days and the verses about him looking down at Canaan it was the first time I could see God’s graciousness in His punishment. You see, although Moses didn’t get to walk in to the promised land, he did get to see it. When the Israelites entered, they saw only as much as their eyes could see from ground level. Their view was skewed. But Moses, from high above, got an aerial view of all of it. He could see the acres of grapevines, and the streams that ran through the land. He could see over and around the hilltops. He saw how vast and lush the land that God had promised his chosen people was.
And with that beautiful view fresh in Moses’ mind, he drifted off Into to eternal rest, right there on that mountain top. A moment later, when Moses opened his eyes, he was in the presence of Jesus, in the REAL promised land, heaven.
Moses may not have had the privilege of residing in Canaan, and that used to seem harsh to me. But when I realized the gift God gave him, of letting him see it, and a moment later, bringing him into eternity, it’s truly precious to me that God actually gave Moses the better reward promised land.
I’m feeling a bit like Moses today. I have some uncertainties looming ahead of me. I have dreams and goals that I long to see fulfilled. I don’t feel like I am done with my assignments here. I am on the threshold of some great things. And I want to stay here, in good health, to see them through.
Waiting on the results of my MRI has me feeling like I am metaphorically on that mountain top, surveying all the milk and honey that lies ahead for my family and me. I want to go there with them. I want to eat the fruit of righteousness with them. I want to climb more mountains and dream more dreams. I want to see wrinkles appear and laugh lines grow deeper. I want to see Jordanne walk down the aisle to marry her prince, and I want to hold the hands of future grand-babies. I want to sleep next to Dan for 50 more years as we cheer one another on to fulfill God’s callings on our lives. And I want to do it all joyfully in good health.
It’s here, on this mountain top that I am closer to heaven. Either because Jesus has plans to take me home sooner than later, or because here I have a shorter reach to the hem of Jesus’ robe, touching it full of faith that I will be healed. Either way, I win, because Heaven is the reward. Heaven here with my family in our beautiful Tennessee home, or heaven with Jesus in my new body and the house He built for me.
If you’re feeling like you’re so far from heaven that you can’t reach it, or even imagine it, can I suggest you put your hiking boots on and take the rugged journey up the mountain in front of you to the place where you can meet Jesus? He’s so excited to greet you. And if you’re already there, take some time to enjoy the view. He’s got beautiful things ahead for you.