The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground water welling up in valleys and hills. Deuteronomy 8:7

God who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Romans 8:32

Forty years wandering in the wilderness. That seems like a very long time to not have a permanent place to stay, to sleep in the same bed instead of different places all the time. To see scenery other than wilderness. A place where there is abundant water, not desert. Travel is something many of us enjoy, but not as a continuous thing for 40 years where we really don’t go anywhere new. We are all getting weary of COVID-19 restrictions after about nine months – we don’t get to travel at all. How much more weary of their restrictions must the Israelites have been after such a long time, a whole generation.

God, of course, has been with them all the time, just like He is with us during this time. As the 40 years are coming to an end there is a wonderful promise from God. They will finally arrive at a good land. One with streams and pools of water. A land with “wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey,” as verse 8 continues. A couple verses later they are told that when they have eaten and are satisfied, when things are really going well, they should praise the Lord for the good land, and not forget all that He has done for them.

We too may feel like we have been in the wilderness for the past months. No travel to fun places, not able to visit with people we want to see at holidays, virtual Zoom meetings that allow us to see others but become tiresome after a while. It can be hard to remember to be thankful for what we have. Paul writes in Romans what we need to remember – God gave us His Son for all of us so that we could live in harmony with Him. Since God gave us this great gift, why not give us everything else? We can pray to God with confidence that He cares for us and is with us; giving thanks for all we have received and continue to receive. God is with us throughout our lives, no matter the circumstances, whether we are happy or sad, well or sick, we can be sure of His grace.

How can we understand the depth of your love dear Lord? You sacrificed your Son Jesus to cleanse us from guilt and grant us eternal life. We marvel at the care you provide for us. When we are distracted, far away, or ill, still you care for us and love us despite ourselves. What more can we say than “Thank you!” Thank you for the gift of salvation through your Son, our savior, Jesus Christ.

Chris Gabel