My husband and I were sitting across from our son’s vision therapist. This sweet, young, way too kind woman was about to go through the results of our middle son’s vision tests from a few weeks before. We were brought there because his reading progress had halted. He had no memory for sight words, letters were added where they were not, other letters would flip positions in words, and the longer he tried to read the worse his reading ability became. Suspicion of learning disabilities and vision issues crept in and I knew it was time for answers.
She took us first to the summary page of all of the testing. And she so nicely pointed out that all areas of concern, where he fell below normal, were the shaded sections. I looked at the page. Three quarters of it were gray. My heart sank. For the next 45 minutes she went though each result in more detail. Vision therapy was discussed. A reading specialist was recommended. And then we walked out.
I think this is a good place to say that nothing renders me to my knees like homeschooling. Nothing. I hopped in the van and emotionally I felt like I was in the fetal position, hugging my knees to my chest and repeating the mantra like the little engine that could, “You can do this, Katie. You can do this, Katie.” The information did not really come as a surprise, but when you have actual diagnoses, actually numbers and percentiles in front of you, somehow the reality of it all seems to change. Now my two oldest had learning disabilities. And I am responsible for their education. Could I really bear the weight of it? Not to mention the price tag of the Vision Therapy, oh and insurance does not cover it. And a reading specialist. I am about to write another $4,000 of checks to our adoption agency. Suddenly, I was daunted and felt defeated. And in my own humanness, instead of turning directly to prayer, I turned to Facebook. I do not like posting things like this on my main page, but I wanted others to pray for me. So, I posted in a very small private group I am in of other like minded Catholic women. And I poured out my fears. And asked for prayers.
They all responded, assuring me of their prayers. But one hit my heart. One of the women, and good friend of mine, shared that the story of the scouts coming back to Moses and Aaron ran through her mind as she read my post. Ten of the scouts came back and said that the enemy is too great. But two of the scouts said God is with us and has given us the land and we should take it. My friend ended her comment with:
Take Your Land
I am sure that she knew. That those two scouts that believed on God’s promise, the only two that got to enter the Promised Land because of their faithfulness; were named Joshua and Caleb. And my two oldest sons just happened to be named after them.
This sent me straight to the scripture. God has placed a real desire on my heart to soak myself in His word. To learn scripture more intimately. My own knowledge of scripture, especially the Old Testament pales in comparison to what I want it to be. To what it really should be. I want His words to be my life and my breath.
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying, ‘Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give the sons of Israel;’ " Numbers 13:1-2
God’s word. His promise. Right there at the very beginning of the chapter; it is plain. God’s words are not conditional. Not complicated. He is going to give the land to the Israelites. I imagine He is only asking them to scout it to see how the Promised Land really is flowing with milk and honey. For forty days, He is asking them to soak in the promise. God’s words are clear. It is finished.
The 12 scouts went and searched the land. They brought back its bounty. “. . . and it certainly does flow with milk and honey and this fruit.”( Numbers 13:27) They witnessed the inhabitants of the land; their stature and number. And they doubted. Doubted God’s word. Doubted His promise. And do you know what 10 of those scouts started to do? They started to lie; LIE about the Promised Land to their tribes. Fear seeped in and it took hold for the people of Israel, for all, except two: Joshua and Caleb.
Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, of those who spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel; saying . . . the Lord is with us, do not fear them.” Numbers 14:7-9
My eyes read each word and their meaning sunk into my heart. How easy it is for us to forget the promises of God, even when they are so clearly stated. His promised land before us and we see its beauty and the goodness it possesses. And then numbers are presented and suddenly lies begin to whisper in our ear. The enemy is great in number. 3% tile for age. Kindergarten reading level. $3,000 Vision Therapy. $30,000 adoption. 50% of marriages end in divorce. Jobless rates at an all time high. These numbers can choke hope out of us.
They were for me.
Until I got that message from my friend. Take your land.
The Israelites made many mistakes throughout Bible history and we make mistakes, yet God shows us, again and again, His faithfulness and His promise. Their mistakes are written in the Book because it is all a part of our salvation history. We have to choose NOT to wander in the desert for 40 years. It robs the cross of its power and the resurrection of the hope that it brings. We have to choose to NOT allow fear to grip us and rob us of God’s promise. We have to march forward knowing that the Promised Land is ours. And oh, so close!
These things I have spoken to you, so that in ME you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world. John 16:33
It is finished. His promise is fulfilled. Take your land.
Take the thing that God has already whispered the promise of. HE has already overcome. What is your land? What is that thing, that freedom, that Promised Land you are just outside of, fearful to take? God did not promise the Israelites that they could just have the land. They had to fight for it. Jesus told us we would have tribulation. What do you need to fight for? Is it more peace in your home? A homeschool that is centered on Christ and less about the workbooks and grades? Is it a marriage built on rock? Is it a calling that God has placed on your heart that you have yet to move on?
Today, I am taking my land. I am resting on HIS promise; what HE is doing, not what I have to accomplish. I am preparing a willing heart, set on His promise. And I have two precious scouts, Joshua and Caleb, to remind me to have no fear.
I am taking my land. How about you?