I’m working through a Bible study, ONE IN A MILLION, by Priscilla Shirer. Two million Israelites were delivered from bondage in Egypt. Two million started the journey towards the land God had promised. Yet, only two, of that two million, actually entered the Promised Land.
One out of a million.
In the video lesson, Priscilla says that Jesus described Our Promised Land in John 10:10:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.”
She says the "life" was the milk and the "abundantly" was the honey.
I’ll take both.
Tuesday morning, during our study, we had a little discussion about a misconception among believers. The misconception is that we have to wait for Promise-Land-living until we are united with Jesus in heaven.
The discussion brought to mind Psalm 27:13. I shared it with the group.
“I would have despaired if I had not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
My aunt shared those words with me while Ethan was in the hospital... a very, very dark time. A time when there was no room for more despair.
In the darkness and despair, I took those words and held on to them as a promise. If I believed I would see the goodness of the Lord, right now, on this earth, I would not despair. If I believed, I would make it.
I made the comment to the other women in my study that I had "worn-out" the verse.
The next day I was looking for a passage in my New King James Bible. I couldn’t find the passage, nor the key word in the concordance, so I went to my bedroom and pulled my New American Standard translation off the shelf. That was the Bible I read while in the hospital with Ethan.
As I found myself searching through Psalms for the passage, I found this. . . Psalm 27:13.
I had truly worn-out Psalm 27:13.
As I stared at the torn page, I wondered if the tears that had fallen on those words had caused the paper to tear. Did my hands, while laid on top of this promise in prayer, weakened the edges? I wondered if I had gripped my Bible harder than I had realized, as I cried out to God for freedom from the despair and hopelessness...
Remembering those times in the hospital should have been sad and heart- wrenching. But, they weren’t. They were sweet. They were ashes turned into beauty. Memories of mourning... turned into joy.
The memories of the pain and hurt are still there but they are overshadowed by prayers answered and promises kept.
As I remember that time, His faithfulness makes me smile.
I'm so thankful that we can't "wear-out" God's Word or His Promises.
I'm thankful that they are alive and always giving.
You can squeeze and wring-out His Word with your heart. You can meditate on it. You can chew it to pieces.You can cry on the pages until the words are no longer readable. You can tear the pages as you rub your hands across them, trying to absorb His words of hope and comfort. But you can't ever get it all.
There is always more to every word God has spoken.
More hope. More comfort. More strength. More of Him.
I'm thankful that He gives more, because there is always more to my needs.
Days can still bring despair and desperateness. They can still become dark.
So, I'll just continue to believe that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
And, I will continue to make it!