This is a guest article by Kathryn O’Brien. Her encouragement is timely for all wives.
Nowadays, checking the headlines is a risky endeavor. The evening news should almost come with a warning,
Watch with caution; may cause high anxiety.
Recent tragedies rolling across our television, computer and phone screens have struck my heart like huge, breathtaking waves, and threatened to erode my peace. Fear lingers, worry stalks. As a follower of Christ, I don’t want to live this way. As a police officer’s wife, I can’t live this way. Thankfully, there is another option…
In the book of Numbers, as God’s people approach the Promised Land, Moses asks twelve tribal leaders to go up ahead and bring back an account. Much like today’s on-scene investigators, these guys were sent out by their boss to gather the facts and get the big story. After forty days of exploration, they return with the news.
All twelve disclose the same situation: the land is bountiful, but the people are enormous and the cities are fortified. Here we find two very distinct reactions to what the men had witnessed. Ten of the spies are discouraged, defeated and depressed, spreading fear and misery among the people. Joshua and Caleb, however, are full of hope, secure in their peace, sure of their God.
Same circumstances, different perspectives. What allowed Joshua and Caleb to keep their peace in the midst of scary circumstances? Here’s how they did it, and so can we…
1. Grab a friend. Together, Joshua and Caleb came out of Egypt, walked through the Red Sea, and into the wilderness. They agreed with one another, relying on and supporting one another. Each gave the other the strength they needed to stand firm. We need faithful friends in our lives, too, those we can count on to encourage us, not panic us, when things go downhill.
Joshua, son of Nun, and Caleb, son of Jephunneh,… tore their clothes and said, “The land we explored is exceedingly good.” – Numbers 14:6-7
2. Don’t forget the rest of the story. Joshua and Caleb never denied the reality of their situation. The facts were in, things looked bad. They faced huge challenges, powerful giants, and big problems. But they immediately followed those facts with another, more powerful reality: their God was bigger. Yes, it’s true, our world is full of hazards. Bad reports plague us. But that’s not where the story ends. Our God is bigger and His promises are stronger than the giants we face.
Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us.” – Numbers 14:9
3. Share the truth. Joshua and Caleb stood up to the other tribal leaders, powerful people in positions of great influence. How easily they could have kept quiet. But they knew that God was able and their sole concern was imparting that truth. In Jesus, we have the hope of a sovereign God who is ultimately in control of our lives, our world and our circumstances. Telling others about our faith makes us stronger and builds our confidence.
Caleb silenced the people and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” – Numbers 13:30
4. Trust in the character of God. The Lord had delivered His people from slavery, guided them safely through a desert, and miraculously provided food and water along the way. But after the report from the twelve, they immediately doubt, fret and moan. How quickly they dismiss God’s goodness! Joshua and Caleb refuse to allow their circumstances to change their belief in a loving Father, as should we. Be determined not to let terrible headlines alter what you know about God’s mercy, love, and grace.
He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.” – Numbers 14:8
5. Wait for blessings. In the end, Caleb and Joshua were blessed for their faith; God allowed them to see the promised land. Our resolve to stay strong, even as bad reports threaten to steal our strength, is pleasing to the Lord. He knows our human frailty, how easily we could drown in discouragement, but making the choice to trust in Him brings a promise of reward.
Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” – Numbers 14:24
So, who’s with me?
The next time we’re hit with a headline that makes us unsteady on our feet, wherever we are, whatever we hear, whichever job our husbands do for a living, let’s remember Joshua and Caleb and stand strong against the crashing waves, for we can certainly do it.
– Kathryn O’Brien
BIO: A former elementary teacher and current Director of Curriculum and Instruction at a private Christian school, I am the author of five children’s picture books. My latest series (Sit for a Bit from Tyndale) teaches Bible memory verses to little ones ages 3-6 in a fun and lasting way. I’m a regular contributor to HomeFront Magazine and have recently written articles for Today’s Christian Woman, Focus on the Family and She Is Light. When I’m not writing, you can find me filling my recently empty nest (sigh) by learning new recipes, planning trips to see my grown kids and taking long hikes with my husband in the beautiful canyons of Southern California that we call home.