“When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities, you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” Deuteronomy 6:10-12 (italics added)

I could nearly quote this passage from memory. It is so familiar. But in reading it last week, the phrases I italicized above jumped out to me. God provided a home for the Israelites as he promised. It was a prosperous land. The Israelites were about to reap benefits of houses, supplies, water, and food that other people built and planted.

And while other people were developing this glorious land, the Israelites were in another place,  complaining and whining to God about how he was not caring for them. Little did they know, or understand…

I’d like to say how different I am from them.

But I’m not.

I am where I am today because people generations before me had the courage to explore and pioneer a new land and form of government. My parents and grandparents provided a solid family life and taught us discipline and God’s Word. Some of our relatives kindly remembered us in their wills, allowing us to  move ahead financially.

I have a future and a hope in Jesus Christ because he did what I could not do. He provided a way for me to be in a relationship with God, empowering me today, and assuring me an eternity in heaven when he died on the cross for my sin, and yours too. He put the power into that act when he rose from the dead.

And on this Memorial Day, I am grateful for the men and women who gave their lives so I could live in a free country. So you could disagree with me, if you choose. So you and I can build a life based on what we did not.

Thank you for your bravery, your sacrifice, your example. I stand upon what I did not do because you did.


Photo by Justin Casey on Unsplash