March 7, 2021

Stages of Life

(I had to have some fun with the picture. It makes sense though huh!!)

These were the stages of the Israelites’ journey when they went out of the land of Egypt by their military divisions under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. 2 At the LORD’s command, Moses wrote down the starting points for the stages of their journey; these are the stages listed by their starting points:

This comes from Numbers 33 and lists for us the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan. I was drawn to that word “stages”. It gives us the whole picture if you will. It speaks of making camp, settling in for a certain time and then breaking camp and moving on the next “stage” of the journey if you will.

Just like them, our life has stages. We have places we “camp” if you will and times, we break camp and end up at a new place. What are these stages? Honestly, just to research I googled that thought. It was so funny that I found one link that listed 5 stages, one that listed 7 stages and one even listed 10 stages. It can be confusing listening to the experts.

To better understand, let me look at from the Israelites perspective. They would travel for a while, then come and set up camp, put the tent stakes in the ground, spend a certain amount of time there, work, serve and even worship. At each stage, they would also grow older and maybe even wiser. Then, the time would come for them to pull up tent stakes and travel to the next spot.

We have these same places in our journey. We put tent stakes down where we live, learn, work, serve and worship. Then, at times, we move to a new spot as we grow older and life transitions from one phase to the next.

For them, some stages seemed to be more meaningful than others, but each one was important, because it was a marker, a moment that helped determine their direction for the next stage. The same is true for us. I passionately believe each stage in our life is what has made us what we are and even where we are.

Show me your decisions and I can show you your direction which leads to your destination. You want to know how you ended up where you are in life, take a moment and look back, your direction took you right where you are based on the decisions you made.

I think that is why God had Moses write these down. To remind them of where thy had been and where they were going. It was appreciation for God’s faithfulness and His grace. But it was also anticipation of what was ahead of them in the land of Canaan.

Might be good for all of us today. Take a moment, even write down the stages of life. Let it be a moment of appreciation of how God has been faithful in the good and the bad, the blessings and the burdens. And let it be a time of anticipation for what He has in store for your future.

Let me leave you with this. The Israelites had a destination that would be the final stage of the journey, Canaan. For all of us, we too will have a final stage of our journey one day. And based on the decisions we have made, it will determine our final destination, heaven or hell. The only way to escape hell and know that heaven will be your home is to trust Jesus as your personal Savior.

I can promise you, no matter where you are in your life right now, that decision will be the best you ever make and will change the course of your life now and for eternity. And along the way, will give you joy in every stage of life.

Pastor Michael