Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Letter from Caleb (Numbers 13)

Numbers 13:30: "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."

Dear Reader:

The rhythm of the wind hummed its awakening tune as my eyes fluttered open to greet the sunlight's caressing heat and welcome. With a smile curling upon the corners of my mouth, I took a deep breath of the amazing, life-giving air. I shifted my weight slightly as I became subdued to the expansion of my lungs. My eyes sought to take in the individual droplets that hung on the grass blades around me, the tiny insects that continued about their normal tasks, the dirt particles that steadied and protected the roots of the surrounding vegetation; I wanted to see His fingerprints, His awesomeness in even the smallest creation.

Slowly and deliberately, I rolled to my side and pushed myself off the ground. The imprint of my form dented the perfection found within the blades of grass, and I sighed at the sight; I knew the blades would once again reach towards the sun, but for the time being, they looked injured and pressured by the weight of what had burdened them for the past so many hours. I felt for the grass, for it mirrored my heart at the moment. This land, the same land I have been gifted with the privilege of exploring, carried beauty, eloquence, magnificence, and richness I had never seen the likes of before. The crops grew to heights that seemed to reach the sky with strong and steady stalks and stems supporting the fruits of their labor. The grapes hung in breath-taking abundance upon the vines of the vineyards that scattered the landscape. The juice simply filled every inch of the mouth with a desire that could not be quenched. Even the flowers displayed a wide arrange of color and shape. How amazing and simply divine the Lord reveals Himself to be. He made every piece of this, only to loan it to humans like myself.

The dizziness refused to dissipate from the presence of my mind. Taking a deep inhale of sweetly-scented air, I forced myself to embark upon my journey for the day. I knew not where I was headed; I only knew that my feet would carry me upon the roads and fields I was destined to travel. The dew droplets slowly evaporated from my rough clothing and fell from my hair as it swayed in the gentle breeze. My heart was already warming up and filling with praise. My sight strayed towards the Heavens and my whisper echoed in the solitude: "Thank You, my Lord. May Your hand guide me through the expanse of this day’s journey." I did not expect or know of the surprises and challenges He would reveal to me this particular day. Nonetheless, I trusted in His power and His plans; all I had to do was walk.

My feet padded the well-worn road before me. The few passersby cast weary glances my way, but I did not let them burden me. My eyes traveled up and down their forms: the muscles massively formed, the hands larger than my own, the mere height of them that made me appear to be only a child! Could it be? God had created these beings with such ferocity and smoothness at the same time. I could feel the seed of fear and worry weaving its way into my original excitement, but with great care, I shook it from me. Why should I be shocked and afraid of these massive humans? Did not God create and form them with His very hands? If He breathed life into them, surely He could destroy them just as easily.

The pounding of my heart quieted as I reached the grain fields ahead. My eyes swept the plains, catching only a glimpse of the sheer masses of food He had blessed this land with. The end of the field met a towering wall. I craned my neck as I tried to see the top of the walls. A slow gasp escaped my lips as the gate swung open; the question posed to me by the guard barely registered in my mind as I slipped through the opening, feeling as small as an ant in the menacing fortress I had stumbled upon. The streets weaved in between the buildings, all formed with delicate and intricate stone work. The people of the town shuffled in and out of entrances, carrying a plethora of items and goods. The enticing scent of food reached my nostrils, but I dared not satisfy my desires for fear of missing just the tiniest bit of detail.

The sun was setting upon the horizon, filling the skies with a vast array of colors and layers. I left the city and sought my bedding for the night. A small cave presented itself in a matter of a moment. Tears dripped from my eyes and cascaded down upon my cheeks and neck. My knees hit the cave floor below me as I sought to comprehend all that I had witnessed, all that I had experienced. I could feel the doubt and the fear hanging like a threatening cloud upon my heart, but I cast it away with a single swipe of my hand. I knew He was great. I knew He was all-powerful. I knew He was mighty. I knew He was truthful. I knew He would give all He had promised. The sights, smells, and textures of the land flooded my mind as I thought of Him. The only reason they were there was to magnify Him and glorify Him. I had seen the delicate and the powerful; I had seen the good and the bad; I had seen a land full of His fingerprints. With that thought, my eyelids blacked out the night sky and my heart rested in peace, knowing that the Lord would be with me and His people for the battles to come within this land.

In Him,

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