Joshua: Day 16

Joshua’s Inheritance

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Today's Text: Joshua 19:1-51, Genesis 49:1-28, Acts 13:16-25

Text: Joshua 19:1-51, Genesis 49:1-28, Acts 13:16-25

I was 10 or 11 years old when I first read Little Women. In the years before I opened that book, I thought reading and writing were “school” activities. I wrote stories because my teacher required it, not because I actually liked it. But Louisa May Alcott changed all that. She awakened something inside me, and I wanted in. So I pulled a blank notebook out of my desk, and I scribbled a story inside it.

Since then, my heart has drawn ever deeper into writing. Writing about God’s Word, and teaching it to others, makes my soul sing. I’m certain it’s the thing I was created to do.

However, it hasn’t always come easily. Around the time I dove headfirst into writing, God called me back to school. It felt like an obstacle to my dream, but not an insurmountable one, so I pressed on. Then, I got pregnant and had a baby. Then I got pregnant again and had another baby. All while I was still in school.

Between school and marriage and parenting, my attention was pulled in a lot of directions, and it wasn’t long before writing got put on the backburner. All the while, I watched as my writing friends achieved their own goals. One by one, they grew their ministries and published books, while I was lucky to steal an hour to write. My friends had reached the promised land, while I remained just outside it.

Waiting is always hard, but it is made especially difficult by comparison. When your friends or colleagues attain the thing you want, it’s tough to hold on to contentment. The ache is somehow heightened by the sight of another’s success.

When I read the story of Joshua, I wonder if he knew this ache. A skilled, lifelong warrior, Joshua wasn’t appointed to lead Israel until he was 90 years old. Then, he spent another decade guiding the Israelites into the promised land. After he accomplished all that, he dispensed the land to the twelve tribes of Israel. Only at the very end of the journey, and the very end of his life, after everyone else had received their inheritance, did Joshua receive his (Joshua 19:49-50).

Joshua waited a lot, and I wonder how the story might have been different had he been guided by impatience. I wonder how his leadership might have been compromised had his spirit been discontent. Thankfully, Joshua succumbed to neither. He was a man who waited well. Rather than pine for the life he wanted, Joshua made himself available to the will of God. His waiting was both active and fruitful.

I suspect Joshua did all this because he trusted God’s promises. He knew God would make good on His Word because He always does. From the start, God told Joshua what would be required to endure this particular journey: “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them” (Joshua 1:6).

God always comes through. This was a truth that guarded the integrity of Joshua’s leadership. God promised to be with Joshua, to bring him success wherever he went (Joshua 1:7,9), and that’s just what He did. By trusting in God’s perfect timing, Joshua accomplished a lot through his waiting.

The story of Joshua reminds us that we don’t have to despair in the waiting. God’s promises are trustworthy, His plans are precise, and His timing is perfect—which means waiting isn’t a setback. It’s an opportunity.

Don’t waste your waiting. Your story is much bigger than the ending.

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Sharon Hodde Miller is a writer, speaker, pastor’s wife, and mom of two boys. She is a regular contributor to Christianity Today and recently completed her Ph.D, which focused on cultivating the gifts of women in the church.

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  • “Rather than pine for the life he wanted, Joshua made himself available to the will of God.” Those words jumped at me, daring me to question it. I am learning that to be a servant of the Lord takes much humility, every second of every day to be exact. I am praying for the Spirit and for his wisdom to bolster me because I still so desperately want the best of both worlds.

  • Cecelia

    I needed this. I don’t like waiting even if the waiting means journey-ing or being IN process. I want to BE there! I want change now! And I know Gods spoken so many times to me – Rest. Just stand. One step at a time. Patience, my lovely one.
    I want to be one trustworthy enough to wait. I want to wait graciously. I want to put all my faith in God knowing He is faithful until the end. And beyond. Thank God for grace. I need it daily.

  • Miranda

    ’49 When they had finished distributing the several territories of the land as inheritances, the people of Israel gave an inheritance among them to Joshua the son of Nun. 50 By command of the Lord they gave him the city that he asked, gTimnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. And he rebuilt the city and settled in it.”
    //
    By the command of the Lord. He kept His promise to Joshua. O tis sweet to trust in Jesus!

  • “His waiting was both active and fruitful.” Wow that was powerful. This message today sounds so familiar, I read the Wait and See devotional on my Bible app a few weeks ago and I felt God telling me to wait on my dream of having another baby. Then yesterday I read 2 devotions both on waiting, its amazing how the Holy Spirit works, if this isn’t God speaking to me. Yes waiting can be so hard, but my prayer is to be patient and learn from what God is trying to teach me during this time of waiting. Abba help me be productive and fruitful during this season. I trust You and I know your plans are far better than mine, therefore I shall wait on Your promise of another son for my family.
    Blessings to all in the forum!

  • I came across this YouTube video message on Hannah and her wait. It really spoke to me as did today’s SRT. Love you ladies and the words you share from our Father.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1moOAN6UJZQ

    • Sarah

      Thank you so much, Dana, for sharing this! It was a great addition to the SRT devotion. It really touched my heart right now as I’m in a space of change in my life and trying to figure out why I see others around me having the thing that I believe God has called me to. How wonderful that He makes everything perfect in His time and I get to enjoy the journey with Him.

  • Candi Trusler

    I felt like I should post this song I heard recently called Take Courage. The chorus says, “Take courage, my heart. Stay steadfast, my soul. He’s in the waiting. He’s in the waiting.” Shew, so powerful! Here’s a link to a version I heard today: https://youtu.be/xmbFk8-MGWo

  • “Don’t waste your waiting. Your story is much bigger than the ending.”
    Loved this. I’ve been in the waiting room for several years, and now at the end of it, I have finally become content with the wait. I now see why the Lord had me wait, and whatever He has planned is bigger than anything I’ve ever imagined.
    Thank you Lord for the trial and for the wait. In them I grew closer to you.

  • Thank you, my praise goes to God. Thank you for the peace you give—today—We are the ones who cause turmoil when we don’t trust the future you are unfolding for us. So at peace knowing that no matter what God is leading me to my future with LOVE.

  • Terri Brown

    I totally feel like this is my story! I have a couple of friends who are getting published and one who is running a great platform for her ministry and getting ready to launch a podcast. I am dying to write and speak for a living. Between my dad being terminally ill for 7 years, and the ensuing life that has followed it in the almost two years, I wonder if “my time” is ever going to come. It really discourages me to think about it and I don’t blog, which is my dwindling string of creative outlet. Although I really don’t want to wait, I am very encouraged to be bigger than my ending. fyi, my blog is at http://www.flyingpants.net

  • Erin ☕️

    I nust visited Orchard House, Louisa May Alcotts home in Concord, MA. I cannot tell you how surreal it was to walk into her bedroom and see the sweet little desk by the window where she penned Little Women. There were owls, a favorite of LMA’s, about the room. And a sweet hand painted little owl on the mantle that was painted there by her sister May (Amy in the book). May was allowed to use the walls of the house as her canvas as paper wasn’t always abundantly available.

    And about waiting and the will of God, it isn’t glamorous, is it? ESPECIALLY when your Christian friends seem to be bouncing forward in Christian success, when you’re really unsure how this whole election is going to pan out, when you have problems that life doesn’t stop to allow room for solutions. It is, though, in the waiting and knowing WHO our faith is in, that we find HOPE.

  • raschknits

    Remember a few years back when the SRT community was encouraged to blog and post their links? I loved participating… until I realized that I was blogging purely for the purpose of hearing “Wow, how insightful!” and “Such deep thinking!” In other words, I was seeking glory for self, not for God. That was eye-opening, and started me down a difficult path of realizing how greatly I struggle with the sin of pride.

    Right now I am in a season of waiting. I graduated from college this past June and have been working part-time from home… I was recently let go and have been looking for a full-time job. The not knowing, the worry and anxiety, all point directly back to my pride. I’m struggling with what I perceive to be purposelessness, and having my identity be tied to what I do, not who I am in Christ. I’ve asked Him to take away anything that will not bring glory to Him and serve His will… and boy is that a tough prayer to say — and mean it.

    • Cristy

      Thank you for sharing so honestly. I can relate to that sin of pride and having the wrong motivations. I am grateful that He makes and molds me though – even when it’s a tough thing to acknowledge and go through. God bless ya’ sister while you are in God’s waiting room. He has great plans that are being laid out for you as we speak. I pray you find rest in the Lord during this season.

    • Robin W.

      I stand with you in prayer, sweet woman. These are the most difficult of times. Wanting to live a life of purpose is a desire for many. Trying to discern what that looks like is an entirely different story. When I was younger, I really wanted to do something AWESOME for God. I was studying film and art and I wanted to use those talents to save starving children in Africa, or bring clean water to remote villages in China. You know, something BIG. It took me some years to realize that maybe in my search for living with purpose I was overlooking my greatest opportunity to influence – those who God put in front of me every single day. If God can give this wandering heart meaning and purpose, I have every confidence he will do the same for you!

    • Kelsey

      I understand exactly how you feel and your struggle to not let what you do or your job define you or give your life meaning. I am in the same place you are, done with school and looking and waiting. It is challenging some times, but I find comfort in God and others. What a blessing that we do not have to wait alone!

    • Maggie

      I also can relate. as a former intense athlete, I am competitive by nature, so as a Christian in my younger years I wanted to really make a huge difference for Jesus, shine his light from a stage speaking or through writing books or being a missionary faraway, but God knew better. he called me to the obscurity of mothering and living intentionally for his glory in my neighborhood, not for my own glory. for a season of a couple years I was in no leadership at our church, no ways to stoke my oversized ego. I just tried to live daily with purpose and wisely care for those physically close to me, my kids, my neighbors, not as projects but as dear friends and loved ones. honestly it was so hard. I want gold stars and affirmation so badly. it’s been about 3 years now, and I’m realizing recently just our powerful an authentic obscure Christ-following life can be. a few neighbor friends who do not known the Lord yet have commented on how our family is a foundational rock in our small community. the ONLY reason we can be strong is because of Jesus. an obscure life lived solely for God’s glory can be powerful too. anyway, I so relate!!!

    • Tini

      Raschknits. .Hello. How lovely to see you here, it’s been a while.
      Praying you know God’s peace in the waiting…not always easy, but always worth the wait, because God is faithful in our waiting..ever present..
      Sending you a huge hug sister..xx

    • raschknits

      Thank you all so much… Robin, Kelsey; nowing that I’m not alone in my struggle helps me to stay faithfully on the path. Keeping you in my prayers as well! I love Maggie’s way of saying that God has “called her to obscurity” because that’s really how mothering feels at times. I know I can ‘have it all’ just not all at once, and that helps me to be more willing to accept the seasons of change. Keep laying it at His feet daily!

  • Kasey Summers

    Needed this today. Thank you. Waiting is an opportunity!

  • Leah❤️️

    Our bible study on waiting just started yesterday with proverbs 31. How perfect this is timed with that. :)

  • Oh man this was what I needed this morning. I’ve felt like I’m in a waiting period for so long, waiting for the Lord to call me to something else instead of appreciating where he has me.

  • Shahana

    I am encouraged daily, not just with the reading of the words and the commentary, but also you ladies right here. Thank you for your insights and wisdom. May God’s truths become more evident in our daily livings and may He shine through, even in the events of today.

  • churchmouse

    Each day on this earth we are closer to our Lord’s second coming. All of our days are in this waiting period. What kind of wait-ers are we? What kind of wait-er am I? Do I moan and groan my circumstances, my lot in life, my perceived lack compared to others? Or do I “make myself available to the will of God” as Joshua did? Do I trust that “God’s plan is precise” when the world seems so out of control? Do I trust that “His timing is perfect” when my prayers seem to go unanswered for years? Do I believe to the depth of my being that “God’s promises are trustworthy”? Oh sweet sisters, let us not doubt that we are here in this place for such a time as this. Our waiting is indeed a daily opportunity to live out our devotion to Him so that the world may know that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Yes He is coming again, but until that day may we be found waiting well. Not standing idly by, wringing our hands in worry and fear. But standing on the solid Rock, trusting that every promise is true and will be fulfilled. We do not wait as those who have no hope. We wait best when we wait with our hand in His. Standing confidently. We know our story is in Him. He is here in the waiting and He has the ending covered.

  • ‘Don’t waste your waiting. Your story is much bigger than the ending. ‘ oooooh this made my heart leap to attention this morning!

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