As yet I am as strong as the day I was sent. Now therefore give me this mountain as the Lord spake and if the Lord be with me, I will take it.

Joshua 14:11,12 (KJV paraphrased)

Since I am a gardener, it can be safely assumed that I like beauty in nature. Whether it is vibrant flowers or large shade trees, I want the peace that a beautiful garden can bring. For those of you who know me, you know how fascinated I am with England and their lovely gardens and green country landscapes. Knowing this about me, you might well wonder why I would move to Northern Nevada, where sagebrush is the state flower and brown is the state color. Okay, so I made up the color part but you understand what I mean.

There are two things about the western part of the United States that draws me in and makes me stay. Mountains and wide-open sky. Mountains have always fascinated me. First, they are beautiful but second they bring to mind the ideas of power and strength. They are mentioned in many pieces of literature and songs, with some movies even mentioning them. The Bible mentions mountains many, many times.

Some of the beautiful Nevada mountains

One of my favorites is the story found in Joshua 14:11,12. Now this story had actually started 45 years before this time. Caleb and Joshua had been sent by Moses to spy out the land of Canaan along with ten other men. Caleb and Joshua had been the only ones to come back all excited to go forth and conquer the new lands.

The rest of the spies whined and complained about how they were never going to be able to take the land. On top of the whining, they were super scared. Because of the trouble the ten stirred up with the people, God told the people that no one would live to see the promised land. They would have to wander 40 years in the wilderness until they all died off.

There were two exceptions. Joshua and Caleb. God said because their faith had been so strong and they were so confident and positive in what He was going to do, he would let them live to see the promised land.

Our scripture today takes place after that 40 years had passed and the Israelites had conquered Canaan. The Bible says Caleb was now 85 years old. Caleb goes to Joshua and says, “Do you remember back in the day when God said I could have all the land that my foot walked on in Canaan when we were spying out the land for Moses?” (paraphrased)

Then he says (and this is my favorite part), ” As yet I am as strong as the day I was sent….Now therefore give me this mountain as the Lord spake…and if the Lord be with me, I will take it.” (paraphrased) Gives me chills every time I read it.

There is so much to this verse. In the first phrase Caleb states that at this moment, at 85 years old, he was as strong as the day God sent him to spy 45 years prior. Can you imagine being able to say at 85 that you are as strong as your were at 40? That in itself is an amazing statement.

But then there is my favorite part. He says, “Give me this mountain and if the Lord will be with me, I will take it.” Just like that. 85 years old and he is going to conquer a mountain. This in itself is pretty awesome, but it is that last statement of simple faith that always touches my heart.

“If the Lord be with me, I will take it.” So simple, yet so powerful. In essence what he is saying is, “If the Lord be with me, I can do anything.” Yes, that is right. Anything! From getting up in the morning to speaking in front of large crowds of people, and everything in between. If the Lord be with me, I can do anything.

I want to encourage you to write down these words “If the Lord be with me, I can do anything” and post them somewhere where you can see them often. Think about the story of Caleb and go and conquer your mountain in the name of God. Sometimes a little simple faith is all you need.