Dianne Barker here with encouragement.
“When Joshua was old and well advanced in years, the Lord said to him, ‘You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over’” (Joshua 13:1 NIV). The Amplified Bible notes he was over 100 at this time.
You might wonder why I find this verse encouraging. The Lord had told Joshua more than once not to be discouraged or afraid as he led the Israelites to take possession of the land promised them.
Maybe Joshua had been thinking. I’m old and tired. This is a mission for a younger man. Nobody’s going to listen to me anymore.
Maybe the Lord addressed the issue before Joshua got caught up in negative thinking. Although the land had rest from war for a time (11:23), Joshua still had work to do—dividing the territories among the tribes, setting up the tabernacle, selecting cities of refuge. In his farewell address (chapter 23), he reminded the Israelites to follow and love the Lord who had fought for them.
“…You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed” (23:14). Joshua died at 110 (24:29), an amazing leader whose life left a large footprint.
Has weariness planted negative thoughts in your mind? I’m too old for this. Publishers are looking for younger people. Why keep beating my head against closed doors?
I’ve been published since eighteen when I landed my dream job writing for a Tennessee newspaper and wrote my first book at twenty-four, Billy Graham in Big Orange Country. Four years later I left the newspaper to be a stay-at-home mom but continued writing. My 1986 book Twice Pardoned (life of Harold Morris) was a # 1 national Christian best-seller and the first book for Focus on the Family Publishing.
After that huge success the Lord led me away from my public life as a successful journalist and best-selling author to care for my parents and my husband’s parents as they declined in health.
The Lord gave me an amazing gift: peace that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing what he had designed; and a promise that someday he would enlarge my life again.
That promise encouraged me through many difficult days when my writing future looked bleak. Approaching another birthday, I’d say, “Lord, I’m going to be forty-five.” Five years later, I was still reminding him, “I’m going to be fifty.” Finally he responded.
“I know how old you are.” Imagine that.
After all our parents were in heaven and our kids had left the nest, the Lord began opening publishing doors. Although my hope had worn thin, it survived. I didn’t think anything could crush it, but a recent disappointment sent me to the Lord.
I’m tired. I’ve given this project my best. If you close the door, that’s okay.
He must have accepted that as surrender. After floundering in waves of discouragement, I made a decision. I will not give up!
Later that day an email arrived, bringing encouragement far beyond my expectation. My hope, nearly crushed, ignited again.
I don’t know the end of that story yet, but the story worth telling is this: God is in charge. Period.
If he has given you an assignment, surrender the cause to him. Stay on task. Don’t let anything crush your God-given dream.
So what if you’re “well advanced in years?” There are still books to write. And you have the experience and wisdom to bring the Lord huge glory. His promises never fail. Do not be discouraged or afraid. As long as you have breath, declare his praise!
Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s a member of Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Christian Women in Media. Visit www.diannebarker.com.