“Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.””
Numbers 14:6-9 NASB
Stepping out against fear
We can be deceived by the appearance of things. Life is filled with situations that instill fear. It might be a work situation that seems insurmountable, or a conflict that is never ending. There might be a diagnosis that seems like it is the end of everything.
Sometimes we see a golden opportunity that lies on the other side of a trial. In our fear we determine that we can’t get there from here. We choose to forget that we have a great and powerful God that can deliver us.
The children of Israel were faced with such a situation. Spies had surveyed the land and found that it was indeed wonderful, but they feared the inhabitants of the land who seemed more powerful. Of the twelve spies, only two wanted to take the land. The rest were filled with fear. Joshua and Caleb knew that their God was able to deliver the land. When the fear set into the masses they desired to stone them for having the audacity to stand on the faithfulness of God.
In my life each day is a leap of faith. I start my days in emotional darkness as I struggle against my daily pains and physical issues. It would be easy to simply stay in bed, to give into to the apparent state of things. I know my God. I know that nothing is impossible with Him.
I know these things because I remember all the times that He has delivered me. Joshua and Caleb remember the deliverance of the Lord: how He led them out of Egypt by pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. They remembered the great miracles that delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh.
I can’t remember the Christmas of 2008. It is not that I was busy or that so much has happened since then. I really can’t remember. A couple weeks before I had become ill. I had bronchitis and thought I could fight it off. Try as I might, I got sicker and sicker.
Finally I went to urgent care and the nurse there saw my condition. Little did I know but I was in the midst of multi organ failure. She called her husband who was a doctor and worked to get me admitted. She went above and beyond.
I was taken by ambulance to hospital and quickly admitted. By this time I could barely breathe and I was coughing to clear the crud filling my lungs. The prognosis was dim.
I declined for two days as all my systems were shutting down. On Christmas morning I had two incidents of respiratory arrest and required resuscitation. I awoke two days later in ICU. One of the nurses came by room later and told me what had happened. I remember feeling conflicted because I could have been with the Lord.
In that situation the Lord had total control. I learned that He can be depended on.
I remember every deliverance and all the faithfulness. As I face the I unknown, I know my God goes before me.
Know that He goes before you. He will take you into the promised land.