Monday, January 4, 2016

Run from the "Giants" or Follow God Wholeheartedly?

Yesterday one of the pastors at my church (Tom Oleson) taught us from Joshua 14. While there are many passages in Joshua which you are likely familiar with . . . such as Joshua 1 where Joshua became the leader of Israel and God told him to, "Be strong and courageous", or Joshua 2 where the two spies were hid by Rahab, or Joshua 3 & 4 where the Israelites crossed the Jordan River on dry ground, or of course, Joshua 6 & 7 where the walls of Jericho came a tumbling down . . . Joshua 14 may not be a passage you are as familiar with. But, something wonderful happens in this passage . . . especially from the perspective of those of us who are older!

What is so wonderful, you may ask??? Caleb shows us what it means to follow God enthusiastically, confidently and unafraid . . . even when he was 85 years old! I don't know about you, but I still have quite a few more years to go before I am 85 and if Caleb could follow God with all his heart - even when it meant he had to fight real giants . . . yes, giants . . . then I can certain do the same! Well, not the fight real, physical, giant people, but I can follow God with all my heart; even when I face my own "giants".

As I thought about this, I thought about what some of my "giants" look like. While my "giants" are not extremely tall men with swords, spears or any other weapon, there are things I could be tempted to fear; after all, our world is a scary place. Terrorism. Violence. Uncertainty. Increasing wickedness. Yes, there are things I could be tempted to fear. I wonder what this world will be like as my grandchildren grow up. There are times I'd like to return to the simpler, less frightening world of my childhood.

But, the world and time I live in are the ones where God has placed me, and I know with confidence, there is nothing in this world or time which is too big for God. I need to be a person who is wholeheartedly focused and committed to trusting God, and then serving Him in the time and place where He has put me.

I want my grandsons to remember me as someone who was serious about and focused upon serving God with all my heart. I want them to know what it looks like to do this, because they saw me do it. I don't want them to remember me as an older person who just "retired" and lived my older years for myself.

I do want them to trust God, so they need to see me as someone who does not let fear stop me from doing what God wants me to do. When they see others in need, I want them to be people who do not let fear stop them from helping, because they remember their grandma did not let fear stop her from helping others. When there is something God wants them to do, I want them to move forward and do it with all their hearts, because they saw me do this. When they are faced with "giants" - and they will be - I want them to know they can choose to trust God and serve Him with all their hearts, because they saw their grandma do this.

Should Jesus tarry, I pray I will reach the age of 85 . . . and more, but no matter the number of years I live, I want my grandsons to remember their grandma served God wholeheartedly . . . and make the choice to do the same.

How will your grandchildren remember you?

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