Can you imagine what Joshua was thinking the day he led the children of Israel into the Promised Land? For 40 years they had been wandering, and for 40 years they experienced the freedom from Egypt only to be held captive by their own lack of faith.
They were led solely by the sovereignty and providence of God—a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They ate only manna and meat, and even then they had to gather it fresh every single day: “Some gathered a lot, some only a little. But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed” (Exodus 16:17–18).
For many years, this is how I viewed my walk with the Lord. He has always been good to me, consistently proving himself sovereign. There was always a pillar to follow, whether that came in a divinely timed devotion or the wise words of a mentor. And the manna was there every morning without fail, sustaining me for all I would need that day—but never was there excess.
It felt like the Lord and I were getting by with little to spare. We were eking through this life, him providing, me gathering, but it always felt tiresome and heavy. Life was often exhausting.
Homesick for the Wilderness
But sometimes God surprises you, and the walls of Jericho fall, and the pillars lead to the Promised Land, and then what do you do? How do you adjust to a land flowing with milk and honey when you’re used to quail and manna?1