Waiting for the Promised Land

I was preparing a lesson for my middle school small group girls about obedience and decided to use the story of Joshua and Caleb when they were chosen, along with ten other men, to go scout out the Promised Land.  When they returned, Caleb and Joshua were the only ones who said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Numbers 13:30).  All the other guys said that the land was great but the people were too big and they would definitely lose the fight.  When Caleb and Joshua continued to fight for what they believed was right, the Israelites wanted to stone them! 
God had commanded and promised this land for the Israelites.  He promised that He would make it possible for them to live there.  Caleb and Joshua were the only ones who believed that, and wanted to obey what God had asked of them.
So you may have heard this story before.  I have, a dozen times.  But I have been praying and asking God to make His Word more alive to me and – in line with His character – He did. 
The Israelites punishment for disobeying God’s order was forty years wandering in the desert.  Not only that, but only the children would survive those years to actually enter the Promised Land.  Only children, except two people: Joshua and Caleb.  Because they were obedient and wanted to follow God’s commands, He promised that they would enter the Promised Land as well. 
But this is what struck me – Caleb and Joshua did everything rightbut they still had to wander the desert for forty years.  40 years! They were rewarded for their faithfulness, but not right away.  They had to suffer those years of waiting because others were disobedient.  I don’t know about you, but I would not have been a happy camper (literally) if I were Joshua or Caleb.
A lot of us have probably been in somewhat of a similar situation, where we get punished or miss out because of someone else’s wrong doing.  It is not fair and hardly seems right. 
If I was Caleb I think I would’ve been like, “GoduhmI know all of THEM didn’t trust you and didn’t listenuh, but me and Josh did, soooocan we just not spend half our lives out here waiting for THEIR punishment to end? Kthanks
As I kept reading I was amazed over and over again by the fact that nowhere do we find evidence of Caleb or Joshua EVER grumbling or complaining – they waited patiently for the reward God had for them.  It was enough for them that they would get into the Promised Land eventually.  Which to me says that what they cared about was not the result – the reward, but obeying God
So I think about all the ways in which I am waiting on the Lord in my own life.  I am waiting for my future husband to finally show up.  I am waiting for a job that feels fulfilling.  I am waiting for the day when my family all lives closer together (fingers crossed).  And those are all good things – those are all rewards that maybe will come from being faithful and obedient.  But the important part of any process is usually not the result, it is the process itself.  It is about what is learned and acquired throughout the journey. 
Caleb and Joshua waited 40 years to experience the Promised Land God wanted to give them.  When he was 85, Caleb was able to say, “I followed the Lord my God fully” (Joshua 14:8).  When I reach the end of my life, it really won’t matter what rewards I received or the blessed life I lived.  What will matter is that I can say with confidence, “I followed the Lord my God fully.”

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I write to process, and sometimes send those thoughts out into the void. Passionate about Jesus and people and bringing those two together. Living in and loving Denver. Working with college students, who are the coolest. Seeking Jesus and JOY in everything.

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