My first glimpse of the Promised Land from the hills of Moab was disappointing. “Did this look a lot different when the Israelites got here?” I asked our guide as we looked toward Jericho. I was expecting a dramatic contrast from the east side of the Jordan. “No,” she answered. “It has looked the same for thousands of years.”
I rephrased the question. “What did the Israelites see when they got here?” “The biggest oasis on the face of the whole earth,” she replied.
Then I understood. I had ridden across the barren desert in the luxury of an air-conditioned bus stocked with cold bottled water. To me, an oasis was nothing spectacular. The Israelites had spent years wandering in a hot, dry desert. To them, the sprawling patch of pale green in the hazy distance meant refreshing, life-sustaining water. They were parched; I was refreshed. They were exhausted; I was rested. They had spent 40 years getting there; I had spent 4 hours.
Like an oasis, God’s goodness is found in dry and difficult places. How often, I wonder, do we fail to see His goodness because our spiritual senses have been dulled by comfort. Sometimes God’s gifts are seen more clearly when we are tired and thirsty. May we always thirst for Him (Ps. 143:6).
a deer panting for cold, refreshing water. Please
don’t allow comfort or worldly success to keep us
from seeing You in every detail of our lives.