By now, I’m sure many have seen the images of the caravan of about 7,000 people making its way through Mexico towards the U.S. border. The caravan began in Honduras and is slowly but surely making its way north, gaining people as it moves. The people in the caravan are fleeing their countries for various reasons, including: war, poverty, and fear of their safety. They travel lightly, with the clothes on their back and a backpack carrying essential documents and anything else that fits. Some travel with infants and children, while others have journeyed with only sandals on their feet.
(Beyond the political and governmental/federal questions and concerns that many may have)
We must ask:
Why make this journey? Why takes such risks? Why commit to such a torturous and tumultuous journey?
There is only one reason, for Hope.
Hope for a better life, better home, better safety, better jobs, better communities, better government, better healthcare, better protection, better people, better conditions.
Hope for a better tomorrow.
Hope is such a powerful thing. It can move people to do the craziest of things, simply because of the possibility of acquiring that which one “hopes” for.
One hopes for what one does not have, as Romans 8:24-25 tells us.
This caravan reminds me a lot of the caravan found in the early books of the Bible.
The first chapters of Deuteronomy contain Moses recounting Israel’s experience as they left Egypt (Exodus) and journeyed through the desert for 40 years. They are now finally at the entrance of the promised land, the land they had hoped for.
Throughout the first chapters of the book, Moses is reminding them of how faithful God has been even when they were evil and disobeyed. He walks them through their experience, reminding them that they have been delivered and will be victorious in the conquest of their new land, simply because God is with them fighting their battles. The first chapters of Deuteronomy are full of “remember”(s) and “do not forget,” this is because we are prone to wander and prone to forget all that God had already done for us.
So with us today, we may not be in a physical journey to a better place. But we are all in a journey nonetheless.
A journey to a better job, better relationship, better home, better location, better friendships, better choices, better religion. A better tomorrow.
In this journey, we experience trials and difficulties and amazing experiences where God comes through at just the right moment. Very often, however, we seem to forget God’s victories in our behalf. And so the cycle beings, we overcome a great obstacle simply by God’s grace and strength. Time passes and we forget. Then we face a new obstacle and we panic and seem to feel that all hope is lost. But we are reminded, by Moses, that we serve the God of the impossible.
“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.” (Deuteronomy 10:17-18)
It’s very interesting how verse 17 speaks of Gods greatness and immediately, in the following verse, Moses ties God’s infinite strength, with His infinite care of those in need. It’s as if God’s strength is all the stronger, when seen on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves, those who truly and desperately need of Him.
Moses then turns to the people and to us, and says: “And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:19). Remember where you were and how God rescued you, lest you look down on others, that are where you were, and despise them for their situation.
We are travelers here, migrating to our heavenly home. We have not reached our destination (see Hebrews 11) but are awaiting a heavenly home, that is built by God. In the meantime, while we journey, may we not only look ahead to reaching heaven, but may we look around to help those in need. For in fact, that is the gospel, helping and serving others, because Jesus loved and served us first.
Sebastian Lopez has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2010. He is currently enrolled in the MDiv. program at the Andrews University Theological Seminary.