Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Standing At The Portal Of The Opening Year"1 (Lyrics)
Genesis 12:1 – Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you." (NKJV)
In the summer of this year, it will be 70 years since our parents left the Netherlands for an uncertain future in Canada. We crossed the ocean in a troop ship, and after ten days at sea, we arrived in Quebec City on July 29th, 1948. At that time, there were a lot of people leaving Europe for places such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
Some immigrants came out of necessity, especially those who wanted to farm, since there was little farmland available at home. Others came because they thought that there would be a better future here for their children. Later, some of them admitted that they had no idea what was ahead of them. They did not know about the living conditions, and they certainly did not know how cold it is in the winter. There were so many unknowns for most of them in this, "the Promised Land".
Abram had heard the word of the Lord, telling him that he was to go to the land that the Lord would show him.
Genesis 12:4-5 – So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. (NKJV)
Abram had many disappointments after he left Haran. They experienced a famine and ended up in Egypt. At some point, Lot and Abram's herdsmen got into a disagreement, and the two went their separate ways.
The early immigrants had many disappointments as well. They could not speak the language, and there were many hardships along the way. There was the struggle of settling down after they left the farms that they had been assigned to. Many were homesick, but the companionship of other Christians and faith in the Lord helped them to overcome those early struggles.
Wherever we are on earth, we do not know what is ahead of us in the coming year, but as Christian believers, we do know that when our journey is over, we are assured of a place in the heavenly Promised Land. Jesus Himself said so:
John 14:1-2 – Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (NKJV)
Rest assured, we will not be disappointed.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, as we travel this road of life, we will have disappointments along the way, but we know that You will be with us until we enter the Promised Land. We thank You for this assurance in Jesus' name. Amen.