As some of you know, I was a math major. This designation alone is enough to name me among the "geek" squad. If this were a real instead of theoretical club, I would no doubt be a card carrying member as evidence by the fact that the following circumstances bring me great pleasure:
- Looking down at my car's odometer and seeing a "cool" number like 43434
- Buying a whole cart full of groceries and having my total with tax end up being an exact number such as $80.
- Checking the time twice in one afternoon and having the clock read 1:11 and then 4:44 at the moments of my random glances.
- Dates that can be made into math equations. For example, in a few days it will be December 2, 2010 or 12/2/10. This can be made into a math equation: 12-2 = 10.
Math interjecting itself brings certain amusement into otherwise ordinary moments of my life.
I have a narrow group of friends with whom I share this simple joy. One friend and I even enjoy wishing each other a happy day on interesting number days. These days pass without notice by the rest of the world but we pause and celebrate. What we actually treasure is the mutual encouragement of common interest. We both love numbers and more importantly we both love Jesus.
For most people, December 2nd will be a totally ordinary day. For me, it will be special because I will think of my friend and be encouraged by her friendship, her love and her love for Jesus.
Today my reading is Hebrews 3. In this passage, the author is comparing Moses as a servant in God's house with Jesus who is the servant over God's house. Moses is one of God's most famous servants. His leadership, courage and intimate communication with God make his story unique.
Moses' life can be separated into three forty year segments. He spent the first forty years of his life in Pharoah's palace living as Egyptian royalty. He spent the next forty years of his life in total obscurity in the desert tending animals. He spent the final forty years of his life leading God's people out of Egypt and to the edge of God's promised land. Twice Moses left everything he knew and began a new chapter of his life.
If you read the account of Moses' life in Exodus, you'll read about many people who complained about him and grumbled to him. You will read about those who opposed his leadership. What you'll read precious little about is those who encouraged him. Exodus 18 records one of those rare instances of an encourager in Moses' life. His father-in-law, Jethro, pays him a visit and with him brings loved ones (Ex. 18:6), affection (Ex. 18:7), fellowship (Ex. 18:12) and sound advice (Ex. 18:19-23).
The author of Hebrews seemingly goes "off-topic" in chapter 3. Just after his comparison of Jesus and Moses, he exhorts his readers to encourage each other "as long as it is called Today". Moses story though was short on encouragement. It is Jesus' desire that ours aren't. Since every day is a "Today", that means every day is an excellent opportunity to encourage others.
Scott and I have just completed our first year here in Memphis. We followed God's plan for our lives and it took us to a "foreign" land where encouragement has been a rare commodity. In the last year I have come to be so grateful for the "Jethros" in my life who pay me a visit via email, Facebook or text and bring with them invigorating, life-giving encouragement.
Jesus, thank you for the "Jethros" You've sent my way this last year to revitalize my soul. Whether it's a goofy text celebrating neat numbers or a kind note that inspires my heart, You've sent Your servants to encourage me. This day I will speak...or type...or text when You prompt and send on the comfort You've sent me.