The last week has felt a lot like what I imagine the wilderness felt like to Moses and the children of Israel.
I’ve ached for relief from the heat and unfamiliar surroundings that are, ironically, becoming achingly familiar (“Didn’t we pass that tree a few months ago?” “Is that the same hill I tripped over last year?” “Do you recognize that brown spot? We must have seen it before. Oh right, we have.”). For forty years they wandered, making lap after lap around the barren land, complaining about their manna and quail, and wishing for what God in His mercy saw fit to withhold.
Well, hello, insight to Sophie’s heart.
It’s here, in this land of unfulfilled longings and grappling with the same lessons over and over that God is teaching me the Promised Land is no further than His heart.
He is our only source of joy, comfort, worth, and peace, and the staggering reality is that He’s given all of that to us—and more! And this isn’t like a cheesy infomercial that is selling us “A one time deal, for just $19.99—but wait, there’s more!” No, we aren’t being schmoozed or sold a bill of goods that won’t deliver. This is a constant and certain hope, even in the midst of less than desirable circumstances.
But that’s not the end of it. Though we are prone to wander (Lord, I feel it), we aren’t wandering without company.
“For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the works of your hands: He knows your walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.” -Deuteronomy 2:7
He is here.
He has blessed us in the wilderness.
We lack nothing because in Him we have everything.
The opposite is also true: without Him, we are bankrupt.
If it’s not God, whatever “Promised Land” we’ve concocted in our brains will not live up to its name. No relationship, marriage, home, family, college, or career will deliver the promise it’s made to us in our hearts.
No human can be our Messiah and no event or accomplishment can be our Promised Land. Peace doesn’t come from a desired outcome but from the Prince of Peace, who died to reconcile the war between us and our Creator. Because of Christ we can now enter the Promised Land of God’s own heart.
And that heart is here. It has come to us. And, in other extraordinary news, God doesn’t hoard His peace and only give us a dab of it. No, He holds up the bucket of peace, turns it over, and pours it out generously and lavishly to all who call upon Him in truth.
Hallelujah, what a Savior.
The bottomline: Peace can exist in the desert places.
You know the sappy (but sweet…?) love quotes that flutter about social media and Pinterest? “Home is wherever I am with you,” and all that? If those apply to a human relationship, how much more to our relationship with God?
Peace/rest/refuge (that feeling of home) isn’t determined by a particular geographical location, realized dreams, or a specific set of circumstances. Peace is determined only by our relationship to Jesus Christ.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” -Isaiah 26:3
Despite multiple laps around the same dry desert, knowing you’re with the One who hems you in on every side and is only leading you through scorched places in order to satisfy You with His mercy
drops storms, gives strength to press on.
Because here’s the thing, Living Water will not always prevent purification by fire, but it’s guaranteed to quench your thirst through the flames.
So let’s drink deeply of the Gospel and keep walking through the scorched places because, no matter what our circumstances try to tell us, God is enough for us here.