August 3, 2021
Now What? The Crossroads, continued
September 14, 2021 | Jaci Miller
In my previous post, “At a Crossroads,” I wrote about reaching an intersection — about the need to make a choice and move when faced with one. To avoid sitting down and refusing to choose.
Well, I chose.
I’m walking a path, hoping — er, trusting — God will honor my risk. Equal parts exciting and terrifying, the Lord has freedom to move any which way He wants in my life.
But will He?
Will I be open to that moving? Will I know it when I see it? What if He allows something scary to cross my path?
All those question marks, all the unknowns, paralyze.
Guess what? Paralysis amounts to the same thing as sitting down. Frozen in fear, it’s just another form of refusing to choose. And I thought I’d finished fighting that battle. Ha.
I read quite a bit, and so many inspirational books, both fiction and nonfiction, end with the hard choice being instantly gratified. Maybe that’s the fault of concise writing, but the implication seems to be “We risk, God rewards.”
In reality, a delay often exists between risk and reward. Sometimes, that delay lasts until we see Heaven.
I hope I don’t have to wait that long.
But it brings to mind Joshua and the Israelites. Joshua, one of two waiting and waiting to see the results of their risk. Only Joshua and Caleb had reported to Moses that they could conquer the land God wanted them to enter (see Numbers 32:11-12). The other leaders of Israel, in Numbers 13 and 14, spread fear among the people and turned them against the pair. Still, Josh and Cal persisted in proclaiming that God was with them. To no avail. Moses had to intercede before an angry God for the fearful people. Eventually, God forgave the people but commanded that none of the adults would enter the Promised Land. Instead, God made them wander in the desert for 40 years, living the life of nomads.
But God permitted Joshua to live to enter the Promised Land. Joshua kept walking at a crossroads when he could have stopped with the other Israelites. He chose to move … and had to wait for his reward. Doesn’t seem fair, but then maybe God had other plans for Joshua. He knew the Israelites would need a strong leader, a man of character when Moses died. Someone to lead all those (comparative) youngsters when their elders died off.
So, what do I do in the waiting? Keep walking. Keep seeking. Shake the desert sand from my sandals and follow Joshua’s example. Above all, I do not sit down.
I don’t know exactly what those 40 years looked like for Joshua; Scripture doesn’t present a clear picture. But it does mention him a few times before he enters the land flowing with milk and honey.
Numbers 32:12 says Joshua followed the Lord wholeheartedly. In Deuteronomy 1:38 and 3:28, God told Moses to commission and encourage Joshua and strengthen him. Deuteronomy 31:7 shows Moses telling Joshua to be strong and courageous. Since God ultimately allowed him to lead the Israelites, my guess is Joshua took all these things to heart.
So, now that I’ve passed the crossroads and am moving forward, I’ll listen for God’s commission from the mouths of others, accept their encouragement and be strengthened by it. I’ll try to be strong and courageous. But mostly, I hope I follow the Lord wholeheartedly.