They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” 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.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Numbers 13:27-33
|January 2009 Training at Headquarters|
Thoughts from Josh:
Over 2 years ago Kelly and I were accepted by World Gospel Mission as “Missionary Disciples” and began our journey of raising a team for ministry in Uganda. While we did not formally begin raising support until a few months later this journey was not expected to last 2 years. At least, we did not expect it.
As I look back to what seems like “forever ago” I stand in awe of the many lessons God has taught us, the amazing people we have met along the way, and the way that God has worked. There have been many times we wondered why it was taking as long as it has and more or less questioned what God was up to. Just recently we were reminded by someone (sadly I cannot remember who we had this conversation with) that today we Christians expect God to work quickly and if He doesn’t act quickly then something is wrong. We question our call. We lay blame on earthly influences like the economy or other people. And sometimes we give up. We obviously heard God wrong or maybe He changed His mind. But what about men like Noah? God told Noah to build an ark because He was going to destroy mankind. While we do not know the exact timeline it is reasonable to believe that it took Noah 20 years to build the ark. 20 years! Noah never questioned but rather we are told a few times in the Genesis account that, “Noah did everything just as God commanded Him.”
And what about the Israelites wandering in the desert? After being held in captivity in Egypt God delivered them but made them wait for 40 years before they could enter the Promised Land. There are many reasons for this and the Israelites can be scrutinized for many different things but to wander for 40 years waiting on God to fulfill a promise is a pretty big deal and not something I personally wish to experience. What is interesting is that in the verses above we read the reaction of the Israelites when its time to take hold of the Promised Land. They questioned God and were fearful.
We have, over the past 2 years, wondered many times why God was making us wait so long to go to Uganda. This lesson is reminding us that 2 years really is not as long a period as we make it out to be. We are beginning to see reasons why it has taken this long and I know God will continue to answer the why question little by little. What is funny though is that I am beginning to act just like the Israelites these days. After questioning Gods timing I am becoming a bit fearful of entering the “Promised Land” (Uganda is amazing but I’m not sure it is flowing with milk and honey). As of today God has provided 90% of our needed finances to make the move. We have a target date of May 15th for our move to Uganda. We are realizing that it is for real and we will soon be 6,000 miles away from everyone we love and enjoy life with. Everything will be new. It will not be easy. There are “giants” in Uganda!
As I was driving last night I found myself hoping things would “slow down” because, man, its getting so real and I’m scared. Our time on HMA has been long and we have questioned why it’s been so long but in some respects it has become “comfortable”. When looking at the challenges ahead of us in Uganda, HMA doesn’t seem so bad. To the Israelites the wilderness became a place they hated but in the face of giants it did not seem so bad.
I have no lesson to pass off to you because I am literally in the middle of this current lesson God is teaching me. This is merely me sharing my current situation with God. It’s a fun ride and I look back on the story of Noah and the Israelites with newfound clarity and understanding. I understand, in part, what the Israelites were feeling and I hope if someone was writing about me that they could say what was said of Noah, “The Hallahans did everything just as God commanded them.”
|February 2011 Training at Headquarters|