An (Un)known Future

January 1, 2018
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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.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good encouragement for the New Year, Joel. Happy New Year.

    Thanks for sharing this devotional with us. Yes, the immigration experience truly presents unexpected challenges. Blessings.

    Enjoyed your devotional this morning Joel. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for such an uplifting and reassuring message.
    Blessings abundant!

    Thank you, Joel, for today’s inspiring devotion. Being an immigrant to Canada I very much understand everything and I thank God that others can share their story and that we are not alone. Good job. Keep it up.

    Good morning, Joel:
    Thank you for this evocative and encouraging devotional. A fitting start to the year.
    Blessings for 2018!

    ‎Thank you for sharing about your coming to Canada from Holland some 70 years ago. Our forefathers all came from Holland in about 1893. This fall we attended a Century Farm celebration. We also attended a 100th Anniversary of a Reformed Church. I sang Psalm 42:1 in Dutch with two ladies and had an organ score for the organist.

    Just a note to let you know that I have appreciated and have been inspired by your devotionals.
    Today’s message was another one where we, as early 1950’s Dutch immigrants, can relate.
    As we look back, the early years were difficult ones, but God’s faithfulness never waned. All we needed, His hand provided.
    Thank you for your ministry by way of the PCC Devotionals. Happy New Year!

    Amen Joel!

    Thank you for the reminder.

    A blessed and blessing devotional, Joel.
    Keep writing.

    I also left the home of my father and came to a new land, and God is making me a “nation” – 8 grandchildren, that’s a good start! The future was unknown to me, but our awesome God has blessed and prospered me. He has a plan for all of us.
    Thanks for your message, Joel.

    Hi Joel,
    I find this an exciting challenge that God gave to Abraham, but it bothers me that he did not totally obey God’s command. He was told to leave his family, yet he took Lot. Then problems resulted from that disobedient act that led to the situation of Sodom and Gomorrah. I always wonder why God did not chastise Abraham for this disobedient act. Any thoughts on that matter?


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