Today’s reading is Joshua 14:6-15:19
My youngest is starting a new school this year. 5th grade. We have been praying about this for years and it finally happened. God said yes. The door has been opened to a new opportunity. School starts on Friday. Our supplies are purchased, registration fees paid, spirit wear ordered. Its a done deal, no turning back now. As I was preparing for this post my boy sat down next to me on the couch and quietly said, “I wish I was going to my old school”. I set my Bible aside and said, “I know, I’ve had the same feelings”. We sat in silence for a few minutes letting those honest words settle and I silently prayed for the right words. What do I say to my worried 10 year old about change and hard things and fear? Especially when I’m thinking the same thing.
I got to tell him the story of Caleb. He was a man who “whole heartedly followed the Lord”. Back in the day of Moses, Caleb and Joshua along with 10 other spies were sent to check out the land of Canaan (The promised land). Caleb and Joshua were the only 2 out of 12 that came back giving a good report on the land and trusted that God would allow them to conquer it. (Kind of like having a good attitude about going to a new school). Everyone else became afraid and confused and wanted to go back to Egypt (or their old school) because they stopped trusting God would take care of them. Because Caleb “whole heartedly followed the Lord”, God promised him the land of Canaan (or his new school) as his special possession for himself and his descendants. He was promised this land in Numbers 14. Then, 45 years later, the promise is fulfilled in Joshua 14:10-12. 45 years!!! He waited patiently for God to fulfill his promise of allowing him to see the promised land and he claimed the promise. I’m sure the 45 years of waiting weren’t easy but he continued to “whole heartedly follow the Lord” and trust the promise God gave him. At 85 years old, God fulfilled his promise to Caleb and gave him the strength to conquer the giants of the land. God gives strength to those who whole heartedly follow him and he helps us do hard things……..like changing schools, and sending our kids to new places.
Caleb was brave, convicted, and trusted in God’s promises. I started thinking about the promises of God. The ultimate promise is eternal life to those who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, but what are the promises for daily living that my 10 year old (and I) can trust as we face our giants?
We decided that we are thankful for the promise that God goes before us – just like he did with Caleb.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“The Lord your God is going before you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.” Deuteronomy 1:30
“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.” Psalm 139:5
“I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron”. Isaiah 45:2
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand “. Isaiah 41:10
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ” Jeremiah 29:11-13
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Praying we trust these promises of God in the hard spots of life. He will show up and I can’t wait to see what He does. Claim your promise!