How do you feel about being different?
We can get by with being a little different, but anything too extreme is . . . well, different. Different infers a minority. And the majority usually wins. Or so it seems. In Beth Moore's words, we derive "a strange sense of security from sameness."*
This past week I read about a man who had "a different spirit in him." Why? Because he rose above the fears of the majority.
The man's name? Caleb. His assignment? To spy out enemy territory. He and eleven others spent forty days on a secret mission. Hiding. Watching. Listening. When they crept back to their base camp, people gathered around, curious to hear what they had to say about this "land flowing with milk and honey."
The majority of the spies, ten of them, focused on the large fortified cities they saw. They told of "a land that devours its inhabitants" and how they felt "like grasshoppers" because of the "men of great stature." Their report stirred up an uprising. Fear gripped the people. They cried and complained. They schemed to find a leader to take them back to the land of slavery.
Caleb and his friend, Joshua, brought a different point of view. They spoke of this "exceedingly good land" with confidence that the Lord would be with them and bring them into it. "Do not fear," they begged the people. But the voice of the minority remained unheeded.
This story, found in Numbers 13 and 14, brings to light a lot about attitude, don't you think? All twelve of the spies witnessed the same thing. But their perspectives couldn't have been more opposite.
One of our daughters teases me about being "sunny," one who sees the positive side of things. Actually, I wish it was true more of the time. Sometimes we all feel overwhelmed by giant circumstances and walled cities of insurmountable odds. Putting our fears in perspective and placing our confidence in the Lord's presence may seem a little different, a minority viewpoint perhaps, or even "sunny." Yet He promises to help in time of need and give us peace.
*Whispers of Hope: 10 Weeks of Devotional Prayer, page 5.