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. So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.
Relate: The longest trip in my life was actually my first time going from New York to Istanbul. Well, actually that is not true. I walked from Antalya to Isparta (140 km) but in that case, it was the journey, not the destination that was important so I don’t count it. I first knew I was going to be moving to Turkey about six months before I left. The closer I got to that date, the more slowly time seemed to move, but nothing was as slow as those final forty-eight hours. I left my mom’s house in Oswego, NY, with my sister sometime early in the morning. My sister was driving back to Massachusets and she dropped me off at a bus station a short hop north of NYC on her way back. After about an hour wait, I rode the bus to the City, then a shuttle from Port Authority to JFK airport. Once I arrived at the airport I still had a good five hours before my plane was scheduled to take off. But then my plane was delayed. And it was delayed again. It actually didn’t take off until more than three and a half hours after its scheduled departure.
Because I bought the cheapest ticket I could get my hands on, I was actually flying from New York City to Moscow and then from Moscow to Istanbul. The problem is, my transfer flight took off long before I touched down in Russia. I now had a good ten hours to wait until the next flight was available. How kind of Aeroflot to give me a meal voucher and a sincere apology, right? I guess you get what you pay for. I left my mom’s house about 9 in the morning on a Friday. I finally got to the hostel I was staying at about 3 AM on Palm Sunday. It was the best and most anticipated trip in my life but, my goodness, it seemed to take forever.
React: Then again, compared to Caleb’s wait, mine was the blink of an eye. Caleb was one of the twelve spies Moses sent to check out the land. Ten of those spies came back saying this is impossible, we can never take this land. Joshua and Caleb came back saying, “We got this.” (Check out The Stuff of Legends for more of their story) Apparently, as they were scouting out the land, they came to a certain spot where God promised Caleb, “One day this will be yours.” I bet Caleb never imagined that he would be waiting more than forty-five years for that “someday” to be today. For goodness sake, he is old enough now that his grandbabies are having grandbabies. Even still, he has enough gumption to actually believe he is just as strong as he was when he was that young whipper-snapper who first received the promise.
How long have you been waiting on God? Is there something He has promised and it is beginning to seem as though He forgot? Is there a promise that was made so long ago that you have given up on that dream? Do you feel as though you have been held in a holding zone for hours, or that you have been walking in circles in the wilderness for decades wondering when God will finally come through? Keep holding tightly to that Word you have been given. It may yet be a long way off, but when the time is right, He will come through.
I must confess that I am not that patient. I live in a microwave culture while You are slow cooking my blessing. Sometimes I even begin to wonder if that thing which You have promised me was nothing more than wishful thinking on my part. To be honest, wishing and hoping are something that I am running out of. Help me to hold on. Help me to continue to prepare and plan for that moment when You are ready to make that “someday” be today. Until then…