Circumstantial Evidence

Chris standing up looking at a park

This morning, I was reading about Caleb in the book of Joshua. I kind of let my mind camp there in the passage in chapter 14. This is the part of the story where the Children of Israel are taking the land that God had promised to give them when they first left Egypt. Caleb was one of the 12 spies sent over to check out the promised land. Of those 12 spies, 10 brought back a bad report based on fear and what they saw. But Joshua and Caleb, who saw the exact same things as the other 10, said they could take the land. The people believed the negative report instead of what God had said. That's why they started a 40-year trek in the wilderness.

In chapter 14, the 40-year excursion has ended and Caleb is standing at the foot of the mountain God promised him for bringing back a good report, one based on faith, not the circumstances. He begins explaining to Joshua (who, remember, was the other spy who brought back a faith-filled report) that God has been with him, and he has followed God completely. (v.8)

He goes on to explain that he wants what is rightfully his. He makes a lot of positive confessions or declarations as he presents his case to Joshua.
  • I am just as strong as I was back then...
  • I can still travel...
  • I can still fight...
  • I will drive the enemy out...
Sometimes, we focus on the faith statements, and that's a good place to be. But Caleb wasn't ignoring his circumstances. In verse 10, he acknowledges the obvious - I am 85 years old. In that one statement, he summed up what others were most likely thinking about him as he stood before Joshua. He had some circumstantial evidence to overcome in order to win his battles.

As caregivers, our circumstantial evidence is a much longer list than just our age, although that is on my list. Most likely there are a lot of other pieces of evidence or excuses why we can't walk in victory and have the things God promised us. In this passage, I learned that it is okay to acknowledge the situation. It's tough. It's an uphill climb. It's draining emotionally and physically. But we still have the promise of a God who is with us. 

Caleb's final plea in verse 12 was this: If the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said. I love that he sandwiched his declaration between two attributes of God. God is with me. That's such an important truth for the caregiver, and we talk about it a lot! And the second part was: Just as the Lord said. God didn't tell Caleb, "Never mind, I forgot you'd be 85 when you got here." God didn't take back the promise because of the circumstances. And He's not going to change His mind about us, either.

Today, I will remind myself that my circumstances did not take God by surprise. I'll meditate on the things He promised me, from the simple stuff like peace, love, grace, mercy, and His presence to the big personal stuff! I'll make a point to put the truths of what God has said and that He is with me before and after my declarations as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

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4 comments:

  1. Dear Jeane, I felt this was written for me this morning. I am full-time caregiver for a totally disabled husband, and I will be 85 in August. Shirley, if Caleb could go in and possess the land at 85, I can continue to care for my hubby.

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    Replies
    1. I can't even imagine! Prayers for continued strength to care for your husband. The thoughts of not being able to care for our loved ones can be heavy and discouraging. Thank you for sharing a piece of your journey with us. Thanks for reading.

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  2. This is one of the most meaningful Devotions of yours (not that they aren’t ALL good)! Because I will be 85 in August. I pray to be like Caleb. I was beginning to think, “How long can I do this.” So I will renew my strength and buck up! I will do it as long as needed.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading I appreciate it so much! One thing is sure - God is with YOU!!!

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