Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. – Deuteronomy 11:8-12
I really like this verse. It feels like a refreshing rain from heaven. Yesterday’s post was not particularly challenging, but it also did not feel particularly inspiring. One thing I am learning as I continue my journey with God exploring water in the Bible is that every day does not have to be a gushing spring of insight or knowledge. Some days are dramatic and wild like a class IV rapids and others are like floating on a raft in a quiet mountain lake. Today feels more like a mountain lake.
I remember once when I was little growing up near Seattle Washington (no stranger to rain). It was an unusually warm summer day and my best friend and I were playing in our cul-de-sac. We had social media back then…it was called outdoors :). All of a sudden it began to rain, not damp drizzle or a light rain, but a deluge of drops the size of dimes. The unusual thing about this rain is that it was warm and when the rain collected in the gutters it felt like bathtub water….well what does one do with a bathtub…why you climb in of course. We had the most amazing time sitting in the street gutters letting the warm water wash over us. It was a good day.
God is describing for the Israelites what life will be like after they cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. Life was hard in Egypt, they had to carefully irrigate their crops by foot. I assume this means lots of ditches, canals, and hard work to produce a crop to eat. God says the Promised Land will be different. This land will drink rain from heaven. Interestingly, from a geologic perspective the mountains and valleys actually are a product of the rain. As the rain falls and collects it forms the valleys and then erodes those valleys to create a beautiful landscape. One cannot have the mountains without the rain that is trying to wear them down. In fact the very presence of the mountains causes the air to rise and lose it’s moisture as rain or snow. This is why western Washington state is wet and green and eastern Washington is dry and desert like. The Cascade mountains “drink up all the moisture”.
So if you want to drink rain from heaven go to the mountains. Seek challenges in your walk with God – even when some of the places God takes you feel like difficult roads. There is no doubt that the Israelites are in for mountains and valleys as they set out to follow God in the Promised Land. As Christians God calls us to inhabit a land of spiritual mountains and valleys. Sometimes we feel like we are on the mountain top with God and other times we can feel like we are alone in a dark valley. What is encouraging is that both the mountains and the valleys receive God’s life-giving rain–God is with us and provides for us on the mountain tops and in the valleys.
Prayer: God quench our thirst with Your rain as we climb mountains and toil through valleys to follow You.