Durable Clothing and Feet that Don’t Swell — What a Deal!


Neh. 9: 21 Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness so that they lacked nothing; their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.


Nehemiah was reminding the people what God had done for them. Every detail of their needs had been cared for during the time in which they walked in the desert. The reference to clothing and feet was an indicator that everything had been taken into account. How in the world did clothing last for forty years? When people walked day in and day out in the desert, hot in the day and cold at night, their feet did not swell. This was all supernatural and not explainable in any way, but for divine intervention. The promise of the God of the details remained true to those who were returning from exile and rebuilding the walls. The memories served as a reminder that the LORD could, and should be trusted. 


The older I get the more that durable clothing and non-swollen feet sounds really appealing. The cheaper our clothing, the faster it simply deteriorates. I remember buying clothing for our girls at the open market. I washed them once and they completely fell apart. Clothing isn’t made to last forty years.

I can’t imagine that I’d write anything in a devotional thought about swelling feet, but hey, it’s an issue the older I get — and the more I travel! Traveling and swelling feet (or ankles) seem to go hand in hand. Nowadays you get all kinds of advice, like wearing compression socks, elevating your feet, drinking lots of water, etc. but chances are, after a long flight, you’re still going to have swollen feet! Those Israelites walked around the desert for forty years and their feet never swelled! That’s amazing.

What’s really amazing is that God, who provided for durable clothing and feet that didn’t swell, still cares for us today. The people of Nehemiah’s day were having trouble placing 100% of their trust in God. Let’s be honest — so do we! We worry about the details of life, large and small. It’s hard for us to bring them before the Lord and trust. We think we have a giant wall to rebuild — that we personally have to fix what’s going on in our world. 

Everything we have to tackle in life is far bigger than all of us. We may choose to live in worry, fear and anxiety, or we can trust the God of the details. If God cared about clothing and swollen feet, then God cares about what’s going on in our lives on a daily basis. That’s the deal! 


Lord, Thank you for precious promises that reach out to us through the ages.  Amen. 


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