In the summer of 1993, I loaded up my car and drove from Los Angeles to St. Louis where I was to begin my dermatopathology fellowship the following week. I meticulously planned the trip cognizant of the many scenic wonders I would pass along the way. In fact, for most of my journey, I would be traveling on historic route 66.
Massive shadows concealed small animals, seeking shade from the desert sun. The glorious steppes gave way to plateaus, bathed in a kaleidoscope of colors powered by the setting sun. “This is God’s country!” I said to myself. The first day of driving was amazing eye candy as I stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona for the first evening. The second day took me across the rest of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, covering hundreds of miles of additional desert. As minutes melted into hours, the phrase, “This is God’s country!” had worn out its welcome mat with me.
And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Deuteronomy 6:10-12 (ESV)
It only took two days for me to lose interest in the beauty of God’s Creation and take it for granted. My spiritual life often parallels my fickleness. The countless blessings I have received from God have lulled me into a dangerous and foolish complacency. The passage from Deuteronomy is Moses speaking to the Hebrew people after He delivered them from slavery in Egypt. In spite of God’s miraculous deliverance of the Hebrews, Moses warned them to always remember the blessings God bestowed upon them…lest you forget the Lord. In spite of this warning, the Hebrews soon took the blessings of God for granted and turned away from Him to follow after pagan gods and worship idols.
When I am undergoing trials, I cry out, “Why God? Please help me!” When He does and I am blessed, I quickly forget the goodness of His grace and mercy in my life. I need to spend more time appreciating the magnificence and beauty of God’s Creation, lest I forget my Lord.
This is God’s country, His entire Creation!
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for always surrounding me with reminders of Your magnificence!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.