Day 16

Joshua’s Inheritance

from the Joshua reading plan

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

BY Guest Writer

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.


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.

Post Comments (38)

38 thoughts on "Joshua’s Inheritance"

  1. Cecelia says:

    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.

  2. Miranda says:

    ’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!

  3. Lam says:

    “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!

  4. Dana says:

    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.

    1. Sarah says:

      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.

  5. Candi Trusler says:

    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:

    1. Lesa says:

      Perfect! Thanks for sharing:)

  6. Alexis says:

    “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.

  7. Debbie says:

    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.

  8. Terri Brown says:

    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

    1. Maggie says:

      Terri, this is hard. my dad is sick, too. praying with you. for God to show you why he has for you today.

      1. Maggie says:

        oops, what he has for you today!

    2. Terri says:

      Hey, thanks for everyone who has visited my blog. Hope you found something you liked.

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