"For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs:
But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven:
A land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year."
The promised life that the Lord leads us to isn't the easiest life that we could choose. Just like the Children of Israel in this passage, we could choose an easier life in slavery to a more challenging one free. I think some of our biggest challenges are challenges of freedom. We have to make choices, we have to take self-motivated action. Should we choose to be in thrall to Satan, he would tell us what to choose. Any addiction will do. As we travel God's path to our own promised life, we find that, unlike Satan, God doesn't use a cattle prod to urge us along. Often, he waits for us to ask for guidance. He allows us to make our own choices and to experience the consequences. Instead of giving us a paint-by-number, he allows us to learn to be artists. Becoming an artist isn't easy, and our promised lives have many challenges ahead as we learn... but being free is worth it. Learning to become ourselves is so much better than learning to be proper slaves. And God offers to help us learn to be our ideal selves. And just as the promised land in this passage, God watches over us, always, helping us to learn and grow and become the artist that we dream of. From the beginning of the year, to the end of the year... and ever after.