A Few Modern Thoughts on the Land of Milk and Honey

Peyton Garland

Peyton Garland

iBelieve Editor
Published: Aug 10, 2022
A Few Modern Thoughts on the Land of Milk and Honey Plus

Whether you’re in the middle of surviving, looking in the rearview mirror wondering why tragedy happened, or peeping through covered eyes in fear of the future, I pray these words offer not only peace but purpose.

*The following is an excerpt from Peyton Garland's book, Tired, Hungry, & Kinda Faithful, Where Exhaustion & Exile Meet God

The Unknown

If you are reading these words, you, my dear friend, are a survivor. Whether you have discovered these pages in a second-hand bookstore or a friend thought you should give these words a whirl, this paper and ink find you with purpose. The purpose of a survivor.

You weathered the unknown of 2020, the hostility and division of 2021, and no matter which year in the aftermath you have found this story, I am placing a gold medal around your neck. Right here, right now. Why? Because you made it. And in today’s world, surrounded by too much noise and too little kindness, making it to the other side is always worth celebrating.

However, this does not, and will not, neglect the tough season you have walked through—or are trudging through now. In war, most survivors return home hollow, scarred, damaged, unpacking ratty, muddied uniforms but stowing away nightmares no one need know about. 

Most Olympic gold medalists put in years of blood, sweat, and tears to make their way onto the podium, claiming a global athletic spotlight for as little as five minutes. Yet, they carry the grandeur for a lifetime. Getting to the other side of hard things, whether gut-wrenching or glorious, has never come without a price. 

This uphill journey makes me think of God’s people, the children of Israel. They wandered through the wilderness for forty years, making mistakes, learning lessons, and repeating their mistakes. They lived true days of glory yet adopted a frugal faith, their ungrateful perception of mercy dwindled to only dull, expected monotony. They grew anxious amid their parched surroundings, a dastardly combination of sin and fear wilting their hopes. Meanwhile, in between each near-constant blunder, they turned back to God, over and over again.

Some days, the Israelites were halfway in but halfway out. Committed yet wary. 

Other days, they were halfway out but halfway in. Wary yet committed. 

They unpacked the powerful faith God gave them, then crammed Satan’s lies into their hearts. 

They lost sight of perseverance yet persevered long enough to reach the land God promised them generations before.

Some days, doubt had the upper hand, and on other days, hope burned brighter.

The Wandering

In all this wandering, this back and forth amid frivolous doubts and a faith breaking the surface, I think of myself. I can’t deny my modern parallel to their lukewarm journey, which calls me to ponder if others, perhaps you, can relate to the children of Israel, or even me. 

Is there a chance your life is hollow and damaged by the one vice that seems unshakeable? Or perhaps you haven’t healed from the blood, sweat, and tears of showing up for the good fight. My heart fervently believes some of you have made it to the Promised Land, and yet, you’re tired, hungry, and feeling as if someone exaggerated the taste of milk and honey. This flowing finish line was said to taste sweeter and run deeper through the soul.

But something is damming your joy. In short, your faith in God lives in a glass half empty. Often, when faith cannot keep up with our feelings, we remain stalwart to the latter. We surrender to fleeting emotions surrounding our circumstances until we discover they have forced us one step forward but two steps backward. Then, we have no other choice but to crawl back to faith, allowing it to pick up our slack.

Maybe you think God should be kinder, more gracious, more accepting, in these times. Or perhaps all you want is one tiny answer to one tiny prayer, frustration growing alongside impatience as you challenge God’s faithfulness to you, a servant who has been faithful the whole time. After all, a good God should supply good things, especially to his children.

I get it. That is why this book, more like a compilation of empathetic letters, is for you. This book is for me too, a constant return to seasons of my life where the spiritual realm seemed riveting and roaring (whether good or bad, I often had no clue in the moment). Such is the beauty of a mysterious faith.

The Wondering

As Christians, we hear Jeremiah 29:11 on repeat. “For I know the plans I have for you,” we mutter.  “Plans to give you a hope and future.” Yup, yup, we got it.

We have undoubtedly seen this monogrammed on a purse or tattooed on someone’s wrist ten times over. But Jeremiah 29:14, just a few verses later, blatantly says that God drove the children of Israel into exile. It reads, “‘I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile’” (emphasis added).

Seems ironic, possibly barbaric, nothing like the character of our God, right? Why would a good God drive his children into a land lacking all resources necessary for survival?

The Answer

So his goodness could be their sole pursuit. So his love could carry them home. So when they returned home healed, they could truly sing hallelujah over a season God used to bring reason to bloodshed and brokenness.

Amid such mysterious yet marvelous truth, I firmly believe that your season had, has, and will have purpose. That the broken pieces of your spirit are meant to be healed. Your cup destined to overflow with milk and honey, the sweetest, purest kind.

So, whether you’re in the middle of surviving, looking in the rearview mirror wondering why tragedy happened, or peeping through covered eyes in fear of the future, I pray these words offer not only peace but purpose.

Take one day at a time, one chapter at a time, as we discover meaning in the hard times, as we find lush life in the most unexpected places.

Let’s see what happens when exhaustion and exile meet God.

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Alexthq

Peyton Garland headshotPeyton Garland is an author and coffee shop hopper who loves showcasing God's beauty from ash. Check out her latest book, Tired, Hungry, & Kinda Faithful, Where Exhaustion and Exile Meet God, to discover how your cup can overflow—even in dry seasons. Meanwhile, follow her on Instagram @peytonmgarland for more insight into her writing and the terrors of raising gremlin dogs.