It’s mid-April in Ohio, and we’ve finally got a few days of warm weather in the forecast. Last Saturday we had to cancel a track meet because the track was 4 inches under snow. But today…it’s going to be a glorious, sunny, 75 degrees.
I’ve got big plans for a family clean-up day – branches in the yard, leaves from the flower beds, a winter’s worth of dog poop, and much, much more! Exciting stuff. It’s going to be awesome, I tell ya! My kids are thrilled. LOL!
I wanted to browse through my devotional reading and get to prepping my notes for the prayer seminar coming up next weekend (I hope you can make it), but I got stuck on Caleb.
Caleb said to Joshua, “Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.” (Joshua 14:10-12)
Caleb waited 45 years for what God promised him.
Forty-five years. That’s how old I am. Caleb waited my entire lifetime for the promise to be fulfilled.
He was 40 years old when God spoke that promise to Him through Moses way, way, way back in Numbers 14. Then he waited 45 years for it to come to pass.
We don’t hear much about Caleb in those waiting years. In fact, the only distinctive thing we hear about him is that “he had a different spirit.”
A different spirit. Other translations say a different attitude.
Faith. Caleb had faith. He believed God would do exactly as He had promised and he was ready to act on that belief.
“Let’s go! Don’t be afraid! God is bigger and if He said it, He will do it. We will conquer!”
It took faith to see what he saw as a scout – the walled cities and the enemy who was bigger and stronger and probably better armed than Israel was – and still trust what God said instead.
And do you know what else took faith?
It took faith to wait 45 years without losing hope.
He waited 40 years just wandering around in the wilderness. Then he waited another 5 years after they crossed the Jordan for his piece of the pie.
He spent 5 years watching everyone else take their land. He actually spent 5 years HELPING everyone else take hold of their promise before it was his turn.
That takes faith. Faith and patience and humility.
He could have said:
“Hey – me first! Don’t you know I was one of the scouts that went in 40 years ago? I should have first dibs. I’m the oldest. I’m 85 years old. What if I die in battle? What if I’m too old when it gets to be my turn to take my land? What about me?”
But we don’t see any of that. All we see is faith.
Faith that spent 45 years not forgetting what God said. Not forgetting the promise.
We see him still trusting God over what he could see.
“So what it’s been 45 years. Promises don’t have an expiration date. So what I’m 85 years old. It doesn’t matter if I’m 85 or 205, if God said it, He will do it. He will strengthen me to take my land. Let’s do this!”
And God did. Caleb got his promise.
This really helped me today. I’ve got some things in my heart from 25 years ago that aren’t even on my horizon yet. Things I see other people – younger people – already walking in that I’m still waiting for.
And sometimes, as time goes marching by, it’s easy to get discouraged. Or forget. Or doubt. Or say, “Hey! It’s my turn! Out of the way! Let’s make this happen.”
But if God spoke it, He’s faithful, and He will bring it to pass. In His timing.
And I can rejoice with those are walking in it ahead of me….and even help them on their journey….because I know He’s faithful.
Waiting is a part of life. And there’s usually purpose in His timing…in the waiting…but that’s a whole other blog.
How we wait, however, is up to us.
And it’s so much easier – and there’s so much more peace and grace – if we wait in faith.