“And now, behold the Lord hath kept me alive, as He said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain….”
Joshua 14: 10-12
King James Version
“Father, hear the prayer we offer;
Not for ease that prayer shall be.
But for strength that we may ever
Live our lives courageously.”
Love Maria Willis
Is there a mountain in my life that is blocking my progress?
Have I said to my heavenly Father, “Give me that mountain?”
“Sometimes we get unduly elated when things go well, and at other times we are too dejected when they go badly. What we need is to establish our hearts firmly in God’s strength, and struggle as best we can to place all our confidence and hope in Him; in this way we shall be like Him, as far as is possible, even in His unchanging rest and His stability.”
Jordan of Saxony
“As thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
Deuteronomy 33: 25
King James Version
My grandmother lived to the ripe old age of 95. Thankfully, at the time of her passing, her mind was as keen as ever and her wit as sharp as it always had been. When grandma was 85-years-old, she still lived alone on a ranch that was nestled in a canyon. It took 40 minutes on a dirt road to even get to the smallest town.
One evening grandma called me and said she had quite a day. Somebody had called her and wanted to study the Bible. They asked grandma to come in to town. As grandma related the experience, she was walking out the door of her trailer and saw a shovel propped against the wall and said, “Something impressed me to toss the shovel in the trunk of my car.” It had rained and the dirt road became a mud road. In her tan Ford LTD, grandma accidentally got too close to a ditch and her car got stuck. No problem for my grandma. She knew immediately why, as she told me, “God had impressed me to put that shovel in my car.” And so, my 85-year-old grandma dug around the stuck wheel until she was able to drive herself out of the ditch and on in to the town to study the Bible with someone who was hungry for the word of God.
This story wouldn’t be so amazing except for the fact that grandma was told in her early 40’s her heart was weak and she had only a few years to live.
As she lay in bed, with three children and a husband who needed her, she could feel her strength ebbing away. One day, a close friend came to visit with a very specific message for my grandma. He told her there was healing in the pages of God’s word and he promised her that if she would memorize Scripture, she would get well. Fifty five years later, grandma, who could repeat many passages in the Bible from memory, had surprised everybody by outliving all her friends, even the one who challenged her to memorize Scripture.
Whenever I read the text in Deuteronomy 33: 25, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be,” I always think about grandma – for I witnessed in her life the truth of this promise. Heaven’s strength infused her life from beginning to end. God gave her every ounce of strength she needed for every day of her life.
The example of grandma’s life helps me understand the life of Caleb so much better. I invite you, for a moment, to imagine what it would have been like to be part of the congregation of the children of Israel and watch and listen to two old warriors and friends, Caleb and Joshua. They were the two spies who had outlived all the grumblers. They were the two stalwart soldiers for God who survived the 40 year wandering in the desert.
As Joshua divided up the Promised Land among the tribes and families, a familiar face walked up to him. It was his old friend Caleb. At the age of 85, I think I would have told Joshua, “Give me a piece of land where the enemies have been run out of town. And give me land in a valley so I don’t have to hike or strain myself.”
Caleb did just the opposite. First, he informed Joshua that his strength hadn’t waned at all. This wasn’t someone bragging about how tough and strong he was. This was God’s man reporting that the strength God gave him 40 years earlier on the border of Canaan, was the same strength God had bestowed upon him that very day. The flow of heavenly strength had not diminished one bit.
What a testimony to the power of God in our lives, yours and mine.
But Caleb didn’t stop by saying, “I’m strong in the Lord.” He went one step further and asked Joshua to, “Give me this mountain.” I don’t know about you but those four words send chills up my spine. Caleb looked Joshua in the eye and boldly proclaimed, “The strength God gave me 40 years ago is the same strength He has given me today. I have nothing to fear, Joshua, so give me the mountain. In God’s strength, I will conquer the mountain.
This was Caleb telling Joshua, “I can still walk up hill. I can still scale the heights. I can still take on the challenge. Give me the mountain.”
There’s an old Elvis Presley song, “Lord, You gave me a mountain, a mountain that’s too high to climb.” Have you ever felt like there’s a mountain that looms in your life? It’s too high to climb. It’s too hard to go around. And whatever this mountain is, it has become a roadblock to the future God has planned for you.
The feature of a father that we see in the life of Caleb today is a strength that never wanes. A strength that never gives up or lets go or loses its grip. This is the strength Caleb portrayed throughout his life – a strength that never waned because he chose to be wholly plugged into the Lord. The connection was never cut or disrupted. The flow of heaven’s power kept coming into Caleb’s life year after year so that even at the age of 85, he was able to stand up in front of all of Israel and say, “Give me that mountain.”
Today, you and I have the opportunity to keep connected to the same power source that infused Caleb’s life with the strength of heaven. And when we do, we will be blessed with a strength that says, “Gives me that mountain.”
“Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin?
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at the door.
Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.”
“O Thou almighty Will
Faint are Thy children, till
Thou come with power:
Strength of our good intents,
In our frail home, Defence.
Calm of Faith’s confidence,
Come, in this hour!
O Thou most tender Love!
Deep in our spirits move:
Tarry, dear Guest!
Quench Thou our passions fire,
Raise Thou each low desire,
Deeds of brave love inspire,
Quickener and Rest!
O Light serene and still!
Come, and our spirit fill,
Bring in the day:
Guide of our feeble sight,
Star of our darkest night,
Shine on the path of right,
Show us the way!”
King Robert I