Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant saying, "Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.” Joshua 1:1-2
Moses was dead. The man who went head-on with Pharaoh was dead. The faithful leader of God’s people through the wilderness was dead. The man who, through God, worked many miracles was dead. The man who talked with God face to face was dead. You can almost hear the cry of the people, “Say it isn’t so!" "What do we do now!?”
For thirty days the people wept and mourned the death of Moses. Then, God appointed a new leader, Joshua. It was time to get on with life. Moses might have been dead, but not God. Neither were the children of Israel. There was so much to do as the Promised Land lay before them.
There is little doubt that when Moses died, the people faced a monumental change. Death has a way of doing that. Perhaps you have faced a big change recently; the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a devastating divorce, or deteriorating health.
What do you do when life changes suddenly, unexpectedly, and without your permission?
Well, you mourn. That’s normal, the natural thing to do when something or someone is taken from you. That painful emotion is not sinful, it’s human. Jesus mourned the death of both Lazarus and John the Baptizer.
But at some point, you stop mourning. While it is good, right, and permissible to mourn, don’t get stuck there. We are told only to walk through the valley of the shadow of death; not take up residence there. Life does go on … and so must you.
One more thing, you must trust God that the best is yet to be. In the case of the children of Israel, they could mourn themselves to death and be buried in the plains of Moab or, they could get up, wipe the tears from their eyes, and enter the Promised Land. Yes, Moses was dead, but they were on the cusp of new and greater blessings — the land flowing with milk and honey.
Dear friend, the worst is behind you, the best is ahead. Keep rejoicing. Keep praising. Keep trusting God. After your mourning, new opportunities arise. Arise with them and “cross the Jordan!”