Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dana, you are old, advanced in years...

9:23 p.m. Today's project was to turn 60 years old. Even though I enjoyed many activities this August 16th, attaining that age is quite enough for one day, don't you think?

My daily devotional reading has been in Joshua this month, a book of physical warfare as the Israelites wiped out the vile pagan nations and claimed the land that God promised them. My chapter yesterday was Joshua 13. By this time, Joshua had led the people to victory after victory and assigned lands of thirty-one former kings to the 12 tribes of Israel. But the job was far from finished, as God's words to Joshua make clear. Verse 1 especially struck me as a strong statement from the Lord that He has much ministry (and many challenges) ahead for me:

Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the LORD said to him: "You are old, adevanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed."

God then enumerates all of the peoples of the land that must be eliminated, and their lands parceled out to Israelite tribes. The list is extensive and to my non-military mind, overwhelming. I have been trying to imagine each morning what it would be like for Joshua to lead not only the army, but millions of people as they mowed down every nation in their path! Yet, as long as the wholly followed the Lord, victory was assured. God promised Joshua in verse 6,

Them I will drive out before the children of Israel; only divide it by lot to Israel as an inheritance, as I have commanded you.

As for me at 60, I am very much engulfed in physical warfare right now--the daily fight to keep Steve from deteriorating so speedily from Alzheimer's; making ends meet on a fixed income; attempting to repair many broken systems in our home and on our property; keeping myself healthy, active, and prosperous in my business; marketing my book, Galatians: an Exploration of Faith & Freedom; and added recently, assisting my dad.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 tells us,

For our light affliction, which is just for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

There is spiritual warfare coming my way daily as well, as I commit that I will: spend time in the Word and prayer each day; write and teach I Samuel weekly to my precious Bible study women; maintain a godly, loving manner with my husband, whose advancing disabilities have him in tears of frustration regularly; prepare my heart for a new Bible study year at church as a group discussion leader; encourage my grown children and mentor their maturation in Christ; witness to the unsaved; cheerfully assist my dad with his medical issues; and begin the book God has spoken to me to write about our experience with early-onset Alzheimer's.

All who have made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and make Him their Lord are engaged in spiritual warfare (see Ephesians 6:10-18) because the devil, our adversary, like a roaring lion, walks to and fro, seeing whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). In spiritual terms, who will decide to walk away, back into the world at the devil's beckoning? And who will resist the devil (James 4:7) and cause him to flee from you? Sounds overwhelming, doesn't it, just like Joshua's conquest of Canaan!

But I serve the same Lord who commanded Joshua to conquer and parcel out the land for God's people, even if he was old and advanced in years. That doesn't matter when following the Lord, except to provide a timeframe for accomplishment that's rather different than when I had many decades to the natural end of life.

Because He goes before me, I will also reach my God-directed destination in every area He leads me to!

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