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Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Promised Land

My corner lives in Boston and to make up for the distance, we email each other back and forth on a consistent basis. We've been growing, recharging, and keeping up with our friendship this way for years now, ever since we graduated from college together seven years ago (wait. what). We actually met on the first day of freshman orientation, so all you going to college, do not underestimate the value of orientation. I met my most valued friend there, amidst the classroom tours and cheesy games.

Our emails, though. They have enriched and enlightened our friendship.

Just the other day, there was an email with this thought in it..
REAL hope. The deep seated nest of stubborn belief that He will show up. NOT BECAUSE OF ANYTHING WE'VE DONE. But because He's good and He said He would. 

This deep feeling within, deep within, that just knows He will come through. He will be there, just because He is good. It makes me cry. HE IS GOOD. And He said He will be with us. He said it! And He delivers on what He says. I am camping out in His promises. 

This has been the theme of my life the past few months. I have worn my Bible thin camping out in the first few books of the Bible because I am Israelite through and through. I felt discontent in Egypt, drained and tired, living by the shadow, afraid to surrender to God. I could hear my own voice as I complained that slavery would have been better than not knowing! I could feel my own fear in the wilderness, lamenting, vulnerable and afraid. 

But just a few chapters later, the Lord is eloquently describing the most beautiful place in the world. A place of safety, a place where they would not want, a place where He is there, a place where their very needs are met. I have clung so fiercely to this promised land. That is the future, because God said it would be. 
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills. When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.

What a land!
What beauty. 

But there are giants in the land and the people are afraid. Fear abounds. There is so much unknown. But the Lord has already given His people the land, it is theirs to conquer. Do not let fear keep you from what I have given you, the Lord says. He tells the Israelites, "Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel." I have given it to you, it is yours.

The spies come back and they say WE CAN'T MOVE FORWARD WE ARE DOOMED. But two of the spies say, there are giants, but we will be able to overcome it. It is ours, because the Lord said it was. Because the Lord said it was.

Let's be like the two. 

Do not forget the Lord. Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

He is with you wherever you go.

He is with you wherever you go.

And when you get to a benchmark or a lap or a place of rest or the promised land itself, the Lord says do not forget who brought you here. I am with you, be not afraid of the giants ahead. Build stones as memorials. Remember who I am. I am with you. 

I have seen this. I feel God moving me into the pursuit of a fullest and freest me and it feels so intentional and purposeful and loving. The wilderness wandering is providential and the promised land is tangible and sometimes God is saying FINALLY. You've been in bondage for so long. I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE WALKING FREE. I am with you. We are moving forward into giant-infested land together, but they are of no consequence to you, because I am far greater. And I am with you.

The Bible is living and breathing. The promised land is what is up ahead. Always, at every turn.

I remember Him each day and I feel unequivocally safe. 

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