Think of a time when you were excited about something new in your life. A new job. A new marriage. A new home. A new baby. Remember the excitement and anticipation you had about this new opportunity and fresh start? It was all you could think about. You daydreamed and painted pictures in your head of what this new adventure would look like. It was such an exciting time.
And then something happened. You started living this exciting chapter in your life, only to discover that it wasn’t that exciting at all. Once the initial excitement passed you realized it was work. Hard work. And it was full of challenges and feelings you did not anticipate such as fear, discouragement, frustration, and pain.
When the reality of our new exciting adventure sets in we lament about the good old days. We wish we could go back. Remember when I didn’t have so much space to clean? Remember when I could sleep through the night? Remember when I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted? The funny thing about our lamenting is often the good old days were not that good! They were simply predictable, known, and therefore comfortable.
We have all been there. We have all experienced getting exactly what we wanted and then when it doesn’t go as we had planned we wonder if we made the right decision.The Promised Land is never what we think it will be. Actually, the journey to the Promised Land is never what we think it will be. However, if we keep moving forward on our journey I believe the Promised Land will be even better than we could ever imagine. The journey itself is what prepares us for that land, and that is why it is so difficult at times.
Take the Israelites for example. When God delivered them out of Egypt they left on a major high note. God had just protected every household. The Egyptians had just been given them all the gold, silver, clothing, and livestock they could handle. God healed each and every one of them so there was not one feeble among them. After being in Egypt for 430 years, two million strong, healthy, and fully provided for people were on the move to the Promised Land- how exciting!
Well that excitement lasted about one chapter. It says in Exodus 12:51 “On that very day the LORD brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt like an army”. In Exodus 14:10-13 we read “As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the LORD, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves in Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!'”
Guess how long it took them to forget the miracles God had done to bring them out of Egypt? Twenty five days! The time from them leaving Egypt to camping at the Red Sea was about seventeen days (according to what I found online anyway). The day they crossed the Red Sea was around day twenty-five. Less than a month to forget all they had seen and experienced firsthand. Less than a month of being excited about all they were promised. Less than a month and they wanted to go back to a life of slavery!
If you find yourself lamenting about the good old days, stir your faith up by bringing to mind some of the ways the Lord has proven himself faithful in your life. I am sure looking back you will see many ways he has protected you, provided for you, healed you, and delivered you from the many trials of this life. He didn’t bring you this far to turn His back on you now. Go ahead, get excited about your dreams again. Your personal Promised Land will be seen!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the many times you have delivered me from the trails, temptations, and bondages of this life. Thank you for your faithfulness and provision. Thank you for loving me during my times of lamenting. Thank you for stirring up the dreams you have for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Love, Grace, and Fresh Excitement For Us All,