My mind often wanders to places I cannot explain. For instance, have you ever wondered about homarus americanus? That is the scientific classification for the Maine lobster. What I mean is, the first time you ever saw a lobster, I bet the word that came to your mind was not…yummy. Who was that very first Abenaki or Penobscot native walking along the beach one day when coming across homarus americanus said to themselves, “I think we should eat that?” Really? It kind of looks like a bug. A giant cockroach or something. It has a hard shell. Claws that will do some serious damage given the opportunity. It just does not seem worth all the work. Not like a fish that at its worst can slap you with their tail. Get you a little wet, maybe. Lobsters are much more dangerous, and yet, someone, at one point decided to catch it, boiled it in seawater, cracked it open and perhaps to their shock and surprise, it was delicious! Sadly, back then, Native peoples in New England had highly nutritious oils, but not butter. Nonetheless, I am so glad someone took the risk. Saw the possibilities.
There is a great story in the book of Numbers where Moses sends twelve scouts into the Promised Land that God has given them to check out what they might discover when they get there. Ten of the twelve come back and report that it is indeed a promised land. They cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes so large that it took two of them to carry it on a pole between them! They brought back samples of pomegranates and figs. They told Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country – a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!” Only two of them saw potential – Joshua and Caleb. Caleb says to Moses, “Let’s go at once to take the land…We can certainly conquer it!” Why only two? Only Caleb and Joshua had faith. Trusted God at His Word that He had already given them victory over those who were living there. That if they went into battle, He would be by their side and they would win! Two out of ten. That is only twenty percent. Eighty percent of people doubt. Fear. Distrust.
As hard as it seems right now, my prayer is that we have faith, trust God at His Word. He said in Isaiah 41:10, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
During this challenging time, be a part of the twenty percent. Someone who, as difficult as it might be at the moment, sees the promise, the light at the end of the tunnel, the endless possibilities – boiled lobster, baked lobster, lobster thermidor, lobster pie, lobster chowder, a lobster roll!
Be a Caleb. Be a Joshua. Don't be afraid. Don't get discouraged. God is with us, even to the end of the age.
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