“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
In a few months, my financial situation is going to undergo a significant change. That doesn’t make me different from many other people, especially in these days of crazy financial fluctuation in our country. At least I have forewarning, which is proving to be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I know exactly when I need to be prepared to take on the new financial burden, so I’m taking as many steps as I can to secure my nest egg and increase my income. On the other hand, I often wake in the middle of the night stressing over how I’ll handle it. Whether I’ll handle it.
What I’m experiencing is a teeny tiny version of what Joshua probably felt when he knew he had to take over for Moses and get the Israelites across the Jordan and into the Promised Land. At least I don’t have throngs of people leaning on me. Nor do I have an icon like Moses to live up to.
In this one chapter, God commands Joshua four times to “be strong and courageous.” Well, okay, I can do that. Until a little later on today, when I think about the future again and break out in a sweat over how slowly I’m preparing, despite my best efforts. Then I need to toughen up again, remember Joshua’s challenge, and exhort myself to be strong and courageous.
But, what if that’s just not my nature? I mean, I have courage in certain things, and I’m thankful for it. Birthin’ babies certainly wasn’t for sissies. Neither was raising them to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Surviving a pretty scary marital relationship required fortitude and courage on many occasions.
Still, I think of the challenges friends, acquaintances, and entire nations of people face—cancer, loss of loved ones, war, famine—and realize their call to courage is far more daunting than mine.
How do they do it?
How did Joshua do it? Once he led the Israelites across the Jordan he had to overthrow kingdoms already established in the Promised Land. And he succeeded at all of his God-commanded tasks by taking one step at a time and trusting God’s guidance with unshakable obedience, right down to marching around an enemy fortress seven times and tooting horns in order to make it fall down.
We all have our Jordans to cross. We all face fortresses of varying sizes at points in our lives. While my trials may pale in comparison to someone else’s, they’re still my trials. Or maybe I face a task more overwhelming than someone else’s. God knows all about it. If I can remember to keep putting Him at the center of each day, each effort, to pray, search His word, and seek His will, I’ll cross that river. I’ll win whatever battle I see on my own personal horizon. He’ll be with me, wherever I go.
Today's Prayer:Heavenly Father, You know the future I face and how much strength and courage I need to get by. Help me to always seek that strength and courage from You.
Award-winning novelist Trish Perry has written inspirational romantic comedies for Harvest House Publishers and Summerside Press, including Love Finds You on Christmas Morning. She has served as a columnist and as a newsletter editor over the years, as well as a 1980s stockbroker and a board member of the Capital Christian Writers organization in Washington, D.C. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America and holds a degree in Psychology. Visit her Web site at www.TrishPerry.com