Each Spring, I plant Impatiens in pots around our deck. Pink Impatiens and ONLY pink! You may ask “why pink impatiens? A little OCD?” The reason is…I can’t kill them. My thumb isn’t exactly green you know and Impatiens are the only thing my floral history shows I can grow.
This Spring was no different. I planted my pink Impatiens and waited with great anticipation for them to bloom. Soon after, as I was surveying the landscape, I looked on with satisfaction at my beautiful pink Impatiens and much to my dismay was one RED impatien. How it got into the mix is a mystery to me but there it stood, one RED among the pink. My gardening world was rocked.
I pondered what to do. My first instinct was to pull it up and toss it over the fence but I could not bring myself to do it because there it was, one RED impatiens; standing up, standing strong, standing out, standing firm. Different.
I pondered that RED impatiens and it reminded me of how Believers in Jesus Christ should be. Brave, standing up, standing strong, standing out, standing firm. Different.
In 1 Corinthians 16:13, Paul encourages the Corinthian believers to “Be on guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong.” That applies to us today.
In the OT, God gives us a good example of courage and strength, standing firm, and being different in Caleb. In Numbers 13, the Israelites are right on the edge of the Promised Land and Moses sends out twelve men to explore the land God is giving them. Caleb was one of the twelve.
When the men returned, Numbers 13:32 tells us the men “spread this bad report” BUT Caleb was different. A RED among the pink. Ten of the twelve men reported that it was a good land BUT there were giants! The ten men showed fear, doubt and distrust. They rebelled against God. Caleb was different. He trusted and believed God and he show strength and courage by encouraging the others with these words: “Let’s go at once to take the land! We can certainly conquer it!” (Numbers 13:30).
You see, Caleb could be different because he knew God. He knew God’s character. He loved and trusted God so he was ready to obey. He knew God was with them and would make the way for them. When the bad report caused the Israelites to weep, cry, and complain, Caleb was different, he was a RED among the pink.
With strength, courage, trust, and obedience, Caleb said “The Lord will bring us safely into that land! The Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”
Because he stood firm, stood out and was different, the crowd wanted to stone him. But Caleb stood firm. He remained loyal to God. We know this because of God’s own words about Caleb in Numbers 14:24: “But my sevant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me. “
Because of the bad report, ten of the twelve men did not enter the Promised Land. In fact, they were struck dead with a plague. Only Caleb and Joshua, because of their stand for God, would enter the Promised Land. God promised Caleb He would bring him into the land he explored and His descendants would possess their full share of the land. (Numbers 14:24)
God is calling us to be different. He is looking for those who will stand firm, courageous, and strong. He is looking for those who aren’t afraid to be different, to be a RED among the pink. Our culture goes against God’s standards and ways and we have to make the choice to either join crowd or go against the flow. To bow to the world and its ways, or to remain loyal to God and His ways. We must be like Caleb and trust the character of God. We must trust that when we choose His ways we don’t have to be afraid. We know He promises to be with us. We know He goes before us, is with us, and is behind us. He promises to take us safely home one day. If we love God, we will obey God.
Believer, YOU are being called. Are you ready? Are you willing? Do you trust God enough to say “Yes! I will stand firm for you!”? Yes, I will remain courageous and strong! Yes, My attitude will be different than the others! Yes Lord, I will remain loyal to you! Yes! I will stand out, a RED among the pink!