"Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said" (Joshua 14:12).
Forty-five years after laying eyes on his inheritance, Caleb confidently comes to Joshua with a request to make good on God's promise. God had promised something humanly impossible for Caleb and his descendants. Was Joshua secretly hoping that in his old age Caleb would have forgotten? Not Caleb. At 85 years of age, he was ready to lay hold of his promise.
What was happening during those 45 years in between? I imagine Caleb helping his brothers take possession of their inheritances, raising a family, and working the land. As they wandered in the desert, He watched the original band of spies slowly die in their unbelief. Only he and Joshua were left. I imagine Caleb with a habit of speaking to the mountain on a daily basis, a mountain he would some day claim as his own. So, approaching Joshua with this request was simply a formality. It was, in fact, already his.
Once Caleb got the go-ahead from Joshua, he still had the difficult task of driving out the inhabitants of the land. There was a progression: Caleb spoke to the mountain and he trusted God. And behind the scenes, God was lining things up until the day Caleb would go in and conquer.
I'm learning the trust God more these days. One of my "mountains" has been establishing effective financial partnerships for our overseas work. I've been speaking to this challenge in prayer frequently. I need to pray and trust more. I have 45 years of total life experience under my belt; Caleb had 40, then he waited 45 more years until he was 85. Then the real work began. Should I be encouraged?
Prayer: Lord, you know my heart. You know how difficult it is for me to wait and to maintain perspective. Remind me that every mountain I face is an opportunity to grow in trust and patience, and to sharpen my skills along the way.