I sat across the table from her with a hot cup of coffee cradled between my fingertips. The impact of the words from my mouth startled me. Unexpected truth, said more for my benefit, than hers. The reality washed fresh over me as it clicked not just in the recesses of my brain, but the crevasses of my heart. Words, not of my own, but for my own. My own soul. My own heart. My own sojourning. My own search for the joys in the here and now.
The segment of the conversation began with talking about a study I was doing. A study on the principle found in Deuteronomy 6:23 that “God brought us out that He might bring us in…” Like the Israelites, God brings us out of bondage, out of slavery, out of the selfishness and depravity of our strongholds, to bring us in. In to the Promise Land. Our personal Promise Land of dwelling continually with Him. Yet, also like the Israelites, we sometimes find ourselves paralyzed in the in-between. The faithlessness of our hearts leaves us in our own desert of forty years. But that wasn’t and isn’t God’s purpose. Too often He brings us out, and we jump right back into another form of slavery, maybe this one has different chains and a different name, but it’s still nothing less than bondage. It’s still less than the desired Promise Land.
As I played with my coffee cup, turning it slowly back in forth in my hands, the words came. And I heard them.
God brings us out to bring us into the Promise Land. And the Promise Land isn’t some elusive circumstance or location that we strive endlessly and seemingly fruitlessly after.
The Promise Land is Him.
And if we have the Holy Spirit, do we not have all the power available to experience the Promise Land?
To experience the Promise Land right now. Right here.
Even amidst the wait.
My Promise Land is not in a Homecoming Date. It’s not when I suddenly find the “right track” career wise. It’s not when every single detail in my life is lined up to my specific plan. It’s not when I feel like I have less problems. And it’s not when I feel I’ve reached that point where happiness outweighs any discontentment.
My Promise Land is available to me
Here & Now
The revelation came with a cup of coffee in my hands, over a table, in the middle of a name brand coffee franchise. How more “Here & Now” can it get?
And as I reflect on the past month of the Farewell and the living breathing Here & Now, and this daily decision to seek joy in the wait, I find Truths:
“God is in the details; God is in the moment” -Ann Voskamp
In other words, God is in the Here & Now. He’s not only in the elusive “Then,” the “Then of the Future,” the “Then of the Homecoming,” the “Then of the Blank” – He is in this moment. This very moment. The moment of Here. The moment of Now.
Part of my own personal Here & Now, is the Here & Now of the Wait. And every time I look at the slow moving countdown ticker, I am reminded that waiting for the end of waiting is defeating. It’s exhausting. It’s impossible. The promise of purposefulness that is in the Here & Now is waiting upon the LORD (Isaiah 30:14). Not on Homecoming, as exciting as it will be. Not on all the plans and excitement of approximately ten or so months from now, but Waiting upon the LORD. Waiting for Him in the Here & Now. And I remember with coffee cup in my hands, that never in the wait is God inactive. Never in the wait is He not moving in the Heavens and moving Heaven on Earth over the table in Starbucks through revelations in the soul.
I can already see the rewards of the Here & Now waiting. Of so many blessings. Of so many gifts. Of so many Promise Lands, that are only glimpses of the final Promise Land that He has yet to bring me into.
In the words of Jim Elliot:
“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
And to think it all started with a cup of coffee.