"Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance." Joshua 14: 13
Many of us have heard the story of Caleb. He and some other Israelite men were sent by Moses to spy on the people of Canaan. While his fellow spies came back and filled the people's hearts with fear, Caleb encouraged the people. He knew God had promised them this land and that no matter how huge, strong, or powerful the inhabitants were they WERE going to win. The damage was done however, and the fear in the hearts of the nation of Israel cost them forty more years in the wilderness. Caleb did no walk away empty handed however. He was promised a land blessing due to his faithfulness.
What many of us who have heard the story several time over the years miss, what we really know but we do not really consider the implications of, is that Caleb had to wait 45 years for his blessing!!!!!!! Scripture tells us that Caleb's blessing was because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly, but he was not rewarded immediately. He was not allowed to enjoy the promised land while only those who did not follow the Lord wholeheartedly were forced to wander the dessert. Caleb had to wander with them.
When he was 45 he came to Joshua and asked for what he was promised and received it. Scripture gives no indication that his faith or even his body had weakened during this time. He did not give up or quit because he wasn't getting what he was promised fast enough. He did not neglect to ask because he had given up. He kept the faith and when he did get to enjoy his reward, it was all that much sweeter.
I am blessed to be in a place today where I am enjoying sweet, peaceful, ordinary life in a way I never have. The past several years of our life, though wonderful and full of blessing, have been chaotic and uproarious as well. Stress of working outside of the home, a baby born with a chronic illness, many moves, and financial struggles have been our wilderness and is has ended in what I hope and pray is where we will get to stay. Though I know there will be more hard times through the years, this current time is blissful. We are not rich, but we are making it and digging out of debt, I am working from home, and we get to live in the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Our daughter is healthy and has a great team of doctors, and our son and daughter both have many opportunities they would not have had anywhere we have lived previously. Though during those years when it wasn't so easy I cannot say I was always a saint, I never doubted that God had something better and bigger for our family in His time.
I wonder if when Caleb got his land he spend his nights worrying what was going to burst his bubble. Would fire or famine take it all away? I hope not. I hope he enjoyed every minute of God's good gift. Knowing what I know from scripture about Caleb, I imagine I need not worry about that. At times I find myself worrying that this will all disappear, but I am trying and going to keep trying to remember that God gives us good gifts to enjoy, and more than that to use for His glory. I want to do both.
So if today finds you in a time of wondering in your own wilderness, I want to encourage you to do as Caleb did and continue to follow God wholeheartedly during this time. You will be much better prepared to recognze and enjoy the blessing when it comes. If you are enjoying good gifts today, really ENJOY them, and find how you can use them to glorify our mighty God.