PROMISED LAND

House in South Missouri Cropped (2)Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised….” Numbers 14:40

 

I think I own some land near Crocker, Missouri. My grandfather, Walter Rollins, was most likely suffering with undiagnosed bipolar disorder when he purchased a farm in 1919, sight unseen, in a remote area of the Ozark Mountains. Walter made poor decisions while he was in the more manic phase of his illness. On one of his infrequent visits home, he instructed my grandmother, Birdie Mae, to take the last three of their eight children (including my mother) and move to the place at Crocker, transporting their meager livestock by train. Walter would meet them there. They moved; Walter never came. My mother’s youngest brother always told me the pasture there was so steep the horses fell right out of it. The dwelling on the property was a ramshackle cabin (pictured above) barely fit for inhabitance, with no source of water for miles. My mother and her siblings drove their cattle several miles weekly to bring back water for the livestock, but the animals were so thirsty upon returning that they drank all the water at once. Living off the land was nearly impossible. With Walter missing, Birdie Mae couldn’t even try to sell the property. Eventually, my grandmother telegraphed her oldest son who came and brought the family to Kirksville, Missouri with him. He bought a large home for my grandmother which she ran as a boarding home for college students until her death of breast cancer in 1937. Walter and Birdie Mae did not live together after her move to Kirksville.

 

My grandfather had trouble keeping his promises. God’s promise to the Israelites that they would inherit the “promised land” of Canaan was a promise He intended to keep. Moses sent twelve spies to Canaan for forty days, but only two gave a favorable report upon their return, in essence doubting God’s promise. Because of their doubt, God sent the people to wander for forty years in the desert—one year for each day the spies spent in Canaan! By the time the Israelites did enter Canaan, most of the wandering generation had died. It was a hard lesson that God does keep His promises!

 

Lord, give me faith to trust Your enduring promises! Amen

 

Both candid and humorous, insightful and ponderous, Meg Blaine Corrigan’s memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, takes the reader through her chaotic childhood with an alcoholic mother and enabling father to a violent assault that nearly ended her life. She populates her tale with vivid descriptions of her parents, other influential adults, the attacker, and her disastrous first marriage. But this story has a happy ending, when Meg finds solace in a God she didn’t think she’d ever believe in, when He gently helps her heal from her past lives and move into the best times of her life. Meg has also written a novel, Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, about said first marriage, as well as a Christian devotional, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, comprised of blogs from this site. Stay tuned for sequels to her last two books! All of her works may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

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