Wednesday, July 11, 2012
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land —a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.
He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. (Deuteronomy 8:7-16)
What is this amazingly good land I find myself in these days? A land teeming with life and fruitfulness and abundance. A land of flowing streams, pools, and bubbling wells; of lush fields, fertile soil, and plentiful vines...abounding, rich, fragrant...so good. Who could've imagined the incredible beauty of this place, the place in which we currently have the privilege of residing? Only the One who made it all, the One who brings beauty out of ashes, the One who knew that He was bringing us into this land all along. And as I sit and look around at the beauty of it all, I am overwhelmed.
The desert land was indeed vast and dreadful, thirsty and waterless, with plenty of bite and sting, but even there you were wonderfully and tenderly present. Even there you brought water from the hard rock and rained down manna on our tired and weary heads. Even there you were mysteriously at work, up to something that in the end would go well with us. Who could've imagined? What a God! And I am overwhelmed.