our promised land

Time seems to have run past me. Snow replaces the leaves that were falling, the cold days becoming colder, and the evenings darker. Where have the days gone?

The flakes are falling fast as I write, and I wonder how much I have missed. I have found myself “wishing” a lot lately. Wishing I had held on to the days more closely. Wishing I had whispered a few more “thank yous.” Wishing I was not at the end of the year “wishing.”

I have been so caught up in what I can not understand that I have lost joy in the journey. Each day my tunnel narrows, and the end seems farther away. Like the Israelites, I have wondered when I will see my promised land. After all the wondering and seeking, I want to know what’s next. I want to see beyond where I’m standing. So I pray for answers. I pray to see the end.

Yet, in looking ahead, I never seem to move forward. I am once more reminded of Israel’s wanderings through the desert. Even though manna fell day after day and water flowed from dry rocks, they were not content with day-to-day provision. They wanted more, longing to see the end. And because they could not, they were prepared to trade the bounty ahead for slavery.

They became so focused on the wandering that they forgot Who was leading. In seeking a clearer cloud and a sharper flame, they lost focus of the One paving the way.

And too often, I do the same. Even though God has to lead me day after day, making water flow from dry rocks, I’ve longed for more. And settled for less of Him. I’ve made more of my problems, letting them consume and His Presence seem small.

It is not until my soul starts running dry that I realize my biggest need. Him. I simply need more of Him. I do not need to see everything–only more of His Presence. In the words of John the Baptist, He must increase–He must become more than the problems I face, more than my wandering.

Because each December, I remember one truth–He is my promised land. The promise does not lie in my healing or in my future, but in His coming. It does not lie in the answers to my questions, but in my soul’s deepest need.

Jesus. My Savior. Immanuel.

He is our promised land.

The answer we’ve been looking for. The advent that we celebrate.

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