On Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, Rev. Lois Blakey-Paige, pastor of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia used the story of Moses as told by Stephen in Acts 7:20-35 to assure parishioners that nothing they have experienced has been a waste. Moses lived to be 120 years old, and his life can be divided into three distinct periods of 40 years each, and nothing was a waste.
From Stephen's perspective, nothing Moses did was a waste. The pastor said nothing we have done has been a waste either. What the devil meant for evil, God is turning it around for good. Like David, we might feel defeated, but God will pick us up. Elijah had just experienced the greatest victory of his life, but then he felt defeated because of Jezebel's threat. However, God considered what David, Elijah and Moses went through not a waste but progressive steps into God's ultimate plan for them.
The three phases of Moses' life were (1) when God primed him; (2) when God refined him; and (3) when God revealed to him. Like Moses, we too, have to go through these stages. Moses was primed when he grew up in Pharaoh's palace learning the ways of the Egyptians during the first 40 years of his life. At the time Moses had no idea he was being primed for God's work. Moses fled from Egypt after killing an Egyptian when he was 40 years old. He fled to a place where he could be refined. He worked on the back side of a mountain tending sheep until he was 80 years old. God was refining him for his assignment. Moses was never the same again. He had a "new intimacy" with God. At the age of 80, God revealed Himself to Moses through a burning bush to go to Egypt to save His people. God revealed to Moses his assignment was right back where he had fled from earlier. Moses was now ready to be a deliverer.
Like Moses, our lives are divided into three phases. We are either in the priming phase, the refining phase or the God revealing phase, and our experiences have not been wasted in either one of the phases.
Pastor Paige concluded her sermon by comparing Moses with Jesus whose experiences weren't wasted when He died on the cross for us. She asked the congregation, "What are you going to do now that you know your experiences have not been wasted?"