Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Biblical Namesakes of Joshua and Caleb

Today I thought I would share with you an excerpt of the funeral message given by Dr. Crocker. This part of the service is where he explained why we named the boys Joshua and Caleb...

"You recognize that Joshua and Caleb were named for biblical characters by those names. This was not simply a case of names that sounded good but names that represented people who demonstrated extraordinary faith. Their stories are told in the Old Testament.
Joshua and Caleb were part of a team of 12 men sent into Canaan before the people of Israel occupied that land. Their job was to recon the land and report to Moses and the people what they found. Ten of the 12 reported back that the people were massive and they lived in fortified cities and Israel would never be able to conquer the Canaanites. But Joshua and Caleb had a different view. They agreed that it wouldn't be easy, but they were confident that God who brought them out of Egypt and safely to the borders of Canaan would also give them strength and wisdom to prevail. However, the people went with the majority report and turned back and, as a result, spent an additional 40 years in the desert.
For his faith and trust in God, Joshua was appointed by Moses to succeed him in leading the people, so that when they returned to Canaan, it was Joshua who led them in their conquest of that territory. To this day Joshua is known as one of the more faithful, courageous, and successful leaders of the Hebrew people.
Caleb was among the people when they moved into and took the land away from the fierce Canaanites. When it came time to divide the land among the people, Caleb pulled Joshua aside. I can just see him with his arm around Joshua's shoulders saying something like this: 'Joshua, do you remember when we came here as spies? And do you remember what we told Moses and the people about how God would give us this land? Well, that is precisely what has happened. And do you remember what Moses said to us? He said that one day we would live in the land we saw. He said our trust in the Lord would pay off for us one day. Well, Joshua, here we are. See that mountain in the distance? I saw that mountain 40 years ago and I haven't stopped thinking about it. Joshua, I want that mountain! When you parcel out the land, give me that mountain. I know there are powerful people living there, but I am confident that God will give that land to me. God promised it to me and now I've come back to receive what he promised to give!'
Joshua and Caleb are still worthy models for God's people not because they were leaders but because they trusted God totally. In naming their sons Joshua and Caleb, Matt and Crystal set a course for themselves throughout the remainder of their journey to trust God totally. And every time they have said their names, they were reminded of the crucial importance of trusting God throughout, and that is precisely what they have done."

Dr. Crocker was right. Every time I speak their names, even today, I am reminded of how we are called to trust God completely. And God was so faithful and good, he didn't let us down. Maybe it didn't play out the way I was praying it would, but God saw us through it and we are stronger people individually and as a couple because of God.
As some of you know, we have had more losses in the form of early miscarriages since the boys were born and we have been seeking help from a doctor for this. I will admit there have been days that I have been so bitter and angry that God won't "fix" it for us. But then He always gently reminds me that He has a plan for us, and I just have to trust Him totally. God's timing is perfect as well as His plan. I trust that God has a wonderful plan for our family, and I just have to trust Him totally and watch it unfold. When I think of it that way, I am very excited for what the future holds for me and my wonderful family.
I have been thinking of how excited the boys must be to be turning 2 years old tomorrow. Not only were they born two years ago, but they went home to be with Jesus two years ago. I am certain there will be a HUGE party in heaven to mark the blessed day tomorrow. I am also certain everyone is anxious with anticipation and excitement to celebrate. I can see the boys in my mind with little party hats on, balloons all around, and a magnificent birthday cake with two sets of two candles for each to blow out! I am going to try to take tomorrow and celebrate, and not be sad for my loss, but rejoice in the knowledge that my beautiful two boys that brought so many people to their knees before God are spending their second birthday with Jesus. I have said it before and still mean it, as much as I want to hold them and kiss them, I would never take them away from Jesus to do it. That is where they belong, it is where we all belong eventually. And I will rest in the assurance that one day I will be with them again.

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