Skip to content

R&V In the Word: Bless the Work of Your Hands

Image: Juliane Liebermann

Read Deuteronomy 2:1-13 NIV

The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.

Deuteronomy 2:7 NIV

The other day, I was sitting with a group of younger women, talking about the mundane drudgery of parenting little ones. They are in the thick of it right now—if their children aren’t in diapers, they recently transitioned to potty training. If they’re done with potty training, they are in the season of endless loads of laundry, constant restocking of the cupboards, afterschool homework, and bedtime routines.

The monotony of these young years can feel so purposeless.

All we’re doing, Lord, is feeding bellies so they can be emptied again, cleaning clothes so they can be worn and washed again, bathing bodies so they can be dirtied again. The days are so full and so busy, but at the end of them, after the children have finally fallen asleep, what is there to show for it? 

The same mundane work will be there again for us tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.

The Israelites could relate to that same sense of directionless busyness. They wandered around the desert for forty years—forty years—waiting for something more to happen. 

In that vast wilderness, the Lord fed them and made sure they stayed hydrated. He gave them the shelter and provisions they needed. Above all, he never left them. 

“You have not lacked anything.”

These days of childrearing are days of wilderness, but that does not mean they are meaningless.

God used the wilderness to build a foundation of trust and security in the next generation of Israelites. The last generation—those who remembered Egypt—knew trauma, terror, slavery, and brokenness. Maybe their trust in God had been shattered by their past experiences. Maybe the road they walked out of Egypt, paved as it was by God’s miraculous presence, was still not enough to convince them that this was a God they could trust.

But this new generation, every need they could possibly have was met, for as long as they could remember, by a God who loved them and never left them.

That security, that foundation, that safety net God spent forty years weaving underneath them made it possible for men like Joshua to lead a new generation who understood what it meant to rely on the love of the Lord to guide them. Secure and provided for, they could build other skills, like leadership, resilience, ingenuity, creativity, and courage, to cross over into the Promised Land.

This work in the wilderness of young parenting can feel like wandering around the same desert for days, weeks, and years, doing the same thing over and over again. 

But mother, but father, you are weaving together a net of safety, security, and love for your children. 

You are meeting their essential needs and making it possible for them to realize their fullest potential. 

Because of you, they don’t have to worry about whether they will eat today. They don’t have to worry about where they will sleep tonight. They don’t have to think about whether they smell or if their clothes are dirty or what the other kids are saying about them.

This work is not rewarding in the moment—after all, you’re going to have to do it all over again tomorrow—but when we’re given this long view from the Lord, who walked with and cared for his people for 40 long years in order for them to be prepared for their future—we can glimpse the reward for our children on the other side. 

All of this ordinary work leads to extraordinary trust, extraordinary security, extraordinary courage, and extraordinary confidence to lean into what God has called your little people to do next. 

And you weaved that net.

Points of Reflection

  1. What mundane tasks are you performing each day that can feel purposeless?
  2. How might you be able to invite God into that drudgery?

For the Kids

  1. What are some things your parent does for you everyday that you don’t even think about?
  2. What are some ways God has provided what you and your family needs?


There are families in your community that, for whatever reason, struggle to meet the essential needs of their loved ones. Research the local charities, food banks, community gardens, and social service organizations to find out what needs they are striving to meet right now to see how you can extend your reach, beyond the needs of your family (which are super important!) and into the homes and lives of “the least of these.” 


When I think about the hidden effect of poverty and hunger in America, I often think about my friend Sonja Livingston’s beautiful memoir, Ghostbread, which was published back in 2010. There are lots of books about poverty and hunger in America, with lots of ideas about how to solve it, but this is a memoir that makes those theoretical words personal, giving insight into the very real and complex impact poverty and hunger can have on a singular life.

Share on Social

Back To Top