In the story of the Exodus, Caleb was 40 years old when Moses sent him to check out the land that the Lord had promised to give the Israelites. Caleb and Joshua came back and said, “Yeah, we got this. It’s a great place – milk and honey!” He said this in the face of the ten who came back and said “those people are too big and strong for us, we shouldn’t try to take the land.” (Numbers 13)
Fast forward another 45 years. Caleb came to Joshua and told him it was time for him to be given the land that he had been promised by Moses. Caleb’s words in Joshua 14 are striking: “Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then.” (Joshua 14, NLT)
Caleb was now 85 years old. And he was still courageous, optimistic and ready to take on the giants of the land. In those 45 years he never forgot the promise that was made to him.
For Christians, patience means more than waiting. It’s waiting without anxiety and worry. It’s knowing that God’s promises are true, that He has a plan for us and has given us a dream. It’s trusting in His timing to bring it all to pass. But patiently waiting doesn’t mean that we stop while waiting. Caleb said “For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God”.
There is so much promising and waiting in the publishing world today. (Can I get an ‘amen’?) Sometimes we’ve crossed that river Jordan, but haven’t yet been given the patch of land that we’ve been waiting for. We keep writing, sending out proposals, waiting, sending out more proposals, following up, writing more, learning more, waiting more…. and all the while wholeheartedly following the Lord. When we follow Him with all of our heart, mind and strength, then the Lord Himself becomes our focus, He becomes the Promise, He becomes our Inheritance. And every promise and blessing flows, in due time, while we wait.
What are you waiting for while you wholeheartedly follow the Lord?