For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace… Romans 8:6
Today I went for a walk, enjoying one of the last late fall days before Mr. Winter takes over the countryside for the next 3 months. For the third time this week, I noticed a strange phenomenon in one particular yard on my route—a little family of robins left behind for winter, living in a juniper bush. In all my years in “Wildoming,” I have never seen a robin here beyond September. And I wonder, what happened? Did the family forget to fly south where there is abundant food, milder temperatures, and plenty of featherly fellowship? Did they not know they were supposed to fly south? Did they stubbornly refuse?
More importantly, is there a feather for our own nests to be found in this story?
Of course. Always! I couldn’t help but think how God has made a sunnier, better land of provision for all His children and asked us to winter there so that we might circumvent certain hostile conditions brought about by our own choices. It’s called the Promised Land.
This land has many levels of application. Sure it was a physical land 3,500 years ago, but it is also a place today, right here, right now, for God’s children. It can be a current daily reality for those who choose obedience. Some don’t know about this Promised Land of peace, provision, and purpose apprehended by living a surrendered life in the will of God. Some forget to live there because they get too caught up in living for this world. But many stubbornly refuse this good and peaceful land because they think they can make a better life of their own somewhere else. These people get stuck in winter (I know, I’ve lived many a season there)!
Someday, there will be yet another level of this Promised Land looming on the horizon for believers. All the features of this land (pictured in Deuteronomy as well as many of the prophets) that made it so special then will be characteristic in our future Promised Land. Jesus will be ruling with peace. There will be unending prosperity and provision which means rest from toil. There will be nothing to fear. There will be great joy and celebration.
As far as literal winter, I don’t know about you, but I was not made for being left behind in the subzero arctic. I was made for going south to bask under sunnier skies and fairer conditions! It’s never happened yet, but it calls out to me every year. Maybe someday. For now, there are always happy fantasies of laying on a sunny beach in Tahiti, drinking lemonade while being fanned by some hot guy in swim trunks (hot guy pictured at right)…