Joshua, Caleb and my mosquito net
Photo by Stephanie
I’ve been working my way through the old testament while in Malawi. It’s difficult to travel with the Israelites and I’m mostly frustrated with them “come on guys, don’t you trust God, don’t you remember what He did for you?” “I can’t believe Aaron made a golden calf, are you kidding me Aaron?” These are some of the thoughts going through my head as I read and judge the Israelites for being so forgetful of God’s promise. Until God challenged me.
When the 12 representatives of the tribes were sent into Canaan to scout out the land, 10 came back saying “oh the guys there are so big and strong, there is no way we can beat them.” Then all the Israelites went crazy, crying and fearing the giants. The words of 10 guys spread fear through the people and in the end God did not allow that generation to enter Canaan because they doubted the promise He had made them.
Joshua and Caleb on the other hand, went into Canaan remembering God’s promise. They saw His promise, not their weakness, “Oh man those guys are huge but God is stronger!” The faith of these two guys saved the Israelites, although they took a mulitple year detour through the desert.
Joshua and Caleb went into Canaan looking at the world through God’s promise. In the impossible they saw God’s possible. The other 10 guys who went into Canaan, went in comparing themselves to the world around them.
Malawi has a lot of mosquitos. Waking up to the synchronized Zzzzzzz of mosquitos is a fright. “How many are there?” “are they on me?” “Do they carry Malaria?” “What if I’m one big bite in the morning!?” I turn on my torch just to realise that I’m protected by my mosquito net, their sound carries but they are definitely not inside my net. By week three, I knew not to be bothered anymore, my net was my protective dome, no mosquito could enter!
My mosquito net and the story of Joshua and Caleb reminded me of God’s protection in my life. He promises to protect me from the enemy, I just somehow assumed it means I won’t see the enemy or know of its existence. But how would I know God is protecting me if I don’t see or hear what He is protecting me from? How did I know my mosquito net was effective? I knew because I could hear the mosquitos but they did not enter my net.
God will protect us from the enemy but we may still see and hear them. We sometimes need to glimpse the giants we are facing to experience the greatness of God. We sometimes need to see the Red Sea to witness God’s power as He makes a way.
The more we learn to trust in Him, the better we understand that He really WILL protect us and be with us. The giants before me and the mosquitos around me is the world challenging my faith. What will I hold onto in the moments of anxiety?
Do I look at the worldly giants remembering God’s promise or do I see the world through my weakness and incapability? Am I focusing on the number of mosquitos or the protection of my mosquito net?