Israel was on the brink of taking the land God had promised them. They were most likely weary from traveling across the wilderness all those years. They sent in the spies to take a look around. The majority of the spies saw how hard it was going to be to conquer and take the land. But two spies, Joshua and Caleb, saw the remarkable fruit and the good things about the land.
I spent some time thinking about my own perspectives after reading this account in Nehemiah 9 this morning. Those who gave what the Bible calls a "bad report" focused on all the challenges, difficulties, and how hard the conquest was going to be. Joshua and Caleb focused on the end result and how wonderful it would be once God conquered their enemies, and they took the land.
On any given day, I can be anywhere in that process. Some days, I'm quick to acknowledge that God is with us, and we can take this day. Other days, I look at all the caregiving chores and responsibilities and wonder if I'll make it to day's end. It can seem like the biggest challenge is keeping my mind straight and keeping my focus on the promise of God instead of the giants.
The Children of Israel decided it would be better to elect a new leader who could take them back to Egypt. They were "wailing," it says in the NLT. I'd call that moaning, whining, and crying. I don't know how God put up with them! Sometimes, I don't know how He puts up with me either! Lol. But Nehemiah 9:17 says, But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious, and merciful, slow to become angry, and full of unfailing love and mercy. You did not abandon them... even though they were faithless, weary, whining, built idols, and wanted to give up on His promises.
He could have told them they weren't worth the manna and just stopped it from raining down on them every day. But He didn't. He continued to provide for them and didn't take back His promises to them. I'm like, how could they do that? But then, I remind myself that I can easily shift my focus from the promises and provisions to the challenges and giants that need to be overcome. Sometimes, our true struggles are not with the literal giants, but they are to trust what He said. Things like He gives us peace. But it can be work to exchange my anxieties for peace. Just like the Israelites were thinking it would be more comfortable to be slaves since they knew what to expect, I can get comfortable in my anxieties and emotional bondage. Who knows what is out there in God's peace, right?
Today, I will shift my focus from the giants to the fruit. I'll trade my anxieties for His peace - even if I have to do it 100 times a minute! My meditations will be on His promises, and I'll reassure myself that even when I doubt - He does not withdraw His provision. I'll focus on His mercy, grace, forgiveness, and peace today as I trust Him to carry me one more day. Will you join me?