Numbers Rabbah 23:4
Why were all these stations privileged to be recorded in the Torah? In return for their having received Israel, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will in the future give them their reward, as it is written, "The wilderness and the parched land shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice" (Isaiah 35:1) Now if the wilderness will be thus rewarded for having received Israel, is it not certain that one who receives scholars into his house will be rewarded all the more? You find that the wilderness is destined to become an inhabited territory, while inhabited territory is destined to become a wilderness. Whence the inference that inhabited territory is destined to become a wilderness? From the text which says, "But Esau I hated, and made his mountains a desolation" (Malachi 1:3). And whence the inference that the wilderness is destined to become an inhabited territory? From the text which says, "I will make the wilderness a pool of water" (Isaiah 41:18). You find that at present there are no trees in the wilderness, but in the future there will be; as it says, "I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia-tree, and the myrtle, and the oil-tree (ib. 19). Nor is there, at the present time, a road in the wilderness, for it is all sand, but in the future there will be a road; as it says, "I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert" (ib. 43:19), and it says, "A highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those; the wayfaring men, yea fools, shall not err therein." (ib. 35:8)
This is perhaps the original midrash that foretells land development: the acres of farmland-turned-housing developments in the United States or Israel, the acres of desert turned into habitable land. It points us to a deep truth: what is, will not always be; what is not now, may one day come to pass.
That life is ever changing makes us curious, grateful, wary. How are we to navigate the uncertainty in a way that makes us feel rewarded? "Is it not certain that one who receives scholars into his house will be rewarded all the more?" By bringing scholars into our homes—that is, by bringing Torah into our lives—and in opening our hearts, our minds, ourselves to learning Torah, we find that we are open to seeing the ways in which the wilderness of life is in fact a pool of holiness the waters of which we drink. And our souls are nourished.