It seems like just yesterday, I was saying hello,
To the month of January and now here I am…
Another year almost ended, a new one soon to begin,
Where does the time go…?
Are any of you like me? Thinking it seems like it was just yesterday when the New Year began and now here we are already almost half way through the final month of 2010. How was your year? Are you still moving at the same pace you began with or have you lagged a bit?
I wondered how all of your year went because of a sermon I heard recently that talked about ending strong. Although Caleb, one of my biblical heroes wasn’t the basis of the sermon I thought about him. I admire him for many things among which is his endurance, his tenacity and his enthusiasm.
Caleb was sent by Moses on a fact finding mission with eleven other men to explore the land that God had promised the children of Israel and bring back a report. Unfortunately, the majority of the men came back with a negative report. They reported that while the land flowed with milk and honey the inhabitants of the land were stronger than they were and they seemed like grasshoppers in their own eyes.
Caleb one of two men who came back with a good report, tried to silence the men’s negativity…
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”Unfortunately he was his positive report was drowned out by the negative…
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” Numbers 13: 30-31And instead of listening to the positive the Israelites quickly took up with the negative.
2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” Numbers 14:2-3They had started out with on such a high note with such excitement as they left Egypt. How did it come to this? This unbelief, this grumbling, complaining… did they really think it was better in Egypt? Probably not, but are we so different from those Israelites at times? We start out in January filled with excitement about a new year and somehow as we go through the days, weeks and months we get discouraged. We start to wonder, where is God? Why are things so much more difficult this year instead of better…? By the time December comes around we are ready for the year to end, to go into a New Year and start fresh.
However, instead of waiting to start fresh how about ending strong? Caleb started strong and he ended strong.
10 “Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.Forty five years… a long time to wait for fulfillment of a promise. A long time to stay excited, to keep trusting… but somehow Caleb did it. He ended as strong as he began. What was Caleb’s secret? He started out from Egypt with the other children of Israel. He experienced everything that they did. He endured the hardship of the wilderness with them. He heard their murmuring and complaining but didn’t allow it to get inside of him. He didn’t allow their vision to change his. God had made promises to them as they left Egypt and Caleb wasn’t going to lose sight of the promise.
I confess, there have been many days during this year when I’ve been more like those forgetful Israelites than I care to admit. I’ve murmured and complained and have not trusted Him like I should. However I want to end strong. There are twenty days left in this year. I don’t want to waste a single one of them, being sad, depressed, doubtful… I want to be like Caleb. I want to end this year even stronger than I began… what about you?
Heavenly Father, I can’t believe it’s December and eleven months, one week and five days have passed already since this year began. Thank you for being by my side every step of the way even though at times I didn’t see it and questioned you as to where you were. Today I stand in awe of you and all that you have done. And now father, I lift up my dear blogging friends before you. I pray that you will give them that extra strength that they need in order to end strong this year. I pray that you will uphold them in your strong right arm and that even in the short time remaining in this year they will see you working situations out on their behalf.