“Rather, the land you will soon take over is a land of hills and valleys with plenty of rain—a land that the LORD your God cares for. He watches over it through each season of the year!” –Deuteronomy 11:11-12, NLT
If you read the verses preceding these in Deuteronomy, you’ll read God’s reminder to His people the Israelites. First He reminds them that He’s the God Who rescued them from slavery in Egypt—a hopeless situation for them until He intervened. Next He reminds them of how He led them safely through the wilderness to the edge of the Promised Land. He led them through harsh circumstances, providing food and keeping their shoes from wearing out and protecting them from all enemies. Now, at last, He’s ready to lead them into their long-awaited home.
Yet the Israelites have a habit of looking back forgetfully. Though they’d begged for help getting out of Egypt, they didn’t hesitate to consider going back when the desert turned out to be dry. When they reached the edge of the Promised Land the first time, they forgot all about the power of the God Who’d led them there. God’s words in Deuteronomy 11:11-12 encourage them to move forward this time with a better attitude. These verses are a gift! The gift of anticipation. We can benefit from their message, too.
Whether we’re moving from a place we love and hate to leave or a place we’ve pleaded for deliverance from, we can move forward in anticipation of whatever God has for us there. Wherever we’re going, it’s a land that God cares for. He created the place and the people who live there. He’s already watching over our new home, wherever it is, through each season of the year.
This doesn’t mean that all will be sunshine and daffodils and happy smiling faces all the time. Pain exists in every place. Sometimes God leads us to endure. Yet He lives there with us, using whatever circumstances we face to help us grow into people who are more like Him each day. That gives us reason to anticipate God’s blessing regardless of what we may face.
As we leave one home to move into another, we can determine to not look back with longing, but to look forward with joyful expectation of goodness ahead in the place God’s prepared for us next. No matter our current situation, God has something even better for us in our new home.
Father, help us to move forward in anticipation of Your good gifts in our lives ahead. We know that the land we’ll soon move into is one You already care for. Thank You for watching over it and us. Amen.