Sometimes life gets hard. I can usually handle it for a week or two. Then I get ticked. I get frustrated that God hasn’t done something or that it’s dragged on for so long. Please tell me I’m not alone in this experience!
When I’m not in the thick of it, I can step back and see that everything’s going to be OK… even if I’m responsible for the discomfort. But if I feel like I’m simply the recipient of someone else’s mess, I get especially antsy for some kind of resolution. There are few things more frustrating than doing the right thing and still having to deal with the repercussions of someone else’s decision, sin, stupidity, etc.
Recently, I was at a place of throwing my hands up. Just plain weary. Tired of the spiritual punches. Exhausted by the fiery darts. Anyone know that feeling?
About the time I was going to sit God down and give Him a piece of my mind, I ended up in Joshua 14. The earlier parts of the book are mainly about God using Joshua to conquer the Promised Land. Joshua was looking like a hero… and then, out of nowhere, his buddy Caleb pops back in the picture.
If you know the story about Joshua and Caleb going up to spy out the Promised Land, you’ll remember these two were the ones who knew God could give them the land, while the other ten ‘fraidy cats discouraged the Israelites. Turns out that li’l Caleb was actually 40 years old when he was doing the spying. Now, in chapter 14, he’s 85 years old and he approaches Joshua. Caleb reminds him of Moses’ word 45 years earlier…
And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming.
Caleb was faithful at the age of 40, and not only is he still physically strong, but he’s been wholly following the Lord through the wilderness for 45 years since then… and then 5 more years on top of that! His heart has been faithful to the Lord through all the grumbling, all the delays, all the detours, all the manna, all the misery.
There’s only one reason a man or woman could be faithful all that time: He was serving the King of Kings. He couldn’t look to the Israelites to affirm his faithfulness. I bet they actually got annoyed at his consistent peace. A million times, he could’ve given up if he was in this for himself or thought the Israelites owed him something.
Ladies, we are in this thing for the long haul. We don’t serve Jesus for what those around us will say or do… or not say or not do. If you’re weary, I encourage you to ask the Lord to give you the grace to persevere through the adversity and to gently remind you, like He did me, of why we love, why we serve, why we give, and why we turn the other cheek. It’s for Him alone.