This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (NLT)
Feeling like my life has been full of uncertainty for the past year, the dust was starting to settle and all the pieces had fallen into place.
Immediately after our son was born he was whisked away to the NICU, had surgery at 2 days old and we wouldn’t take him home until 13 days after that. Exactly 3 weeks after my mom went back to Phoenix after visiting she unexpectedly passed away and we were on a plane 2 days later. Fast forward 9 months of constant worry about what and how to feed our little guy the questions all ceased when the “speed bumps” from our son’s surgery had finally all healed and we were given the “all clear”.
As a parent, I can’t even tell you the amount of stress that was immediately lifted from my shoulders. Life was settling into a new and better “normal” when something came out of nowhere leaving me to wonder, how much more strong and courageous could I possibly be?
I found myself scared and immediately thinking about the message we had just heard last week in church of Joshua chapter 1. Joshua was on the older side and although he was wise, he was no Moses when it came to the depth of his relationship with God. In that moment I felt I could relate to him a little bit, being a tad older (for just starting a family) and I don’t have nearly the depth of relationship with God that others do. I was scared and I am sure that Joshua was too. At this point Moses has died and he was the chosen one to lead the Israelites into the Promised land. Not only that but he was also going to be responsible for leading them into battle destroying the Canaanites but hear this, in Joshua’s moment of fear God steps in and gives him a pep talk. He simply says to Joshua not once but three times to “Be strong and courageous”
Why did God choose those words: Strong and Courageous
Strong – Chazaq means to be firm, to prevail, withstand. When reading it like that it almost assumes success.
Courageous – amats referencing being alert and brave.
As I started to ponder these words more, I wanted them to be an action, so I reversed them and decided I wanted to be brave and withstand.
I can’t control the situation although I want to. I can’t predict the answer to my questions, if I could I would know which to ask. I can’t know the outcome, if I could I would be sleeping better. So then, what is the point? What can I control?
I can choose to place all of these things at the feet of the One already knows the outcome.
Rather than fretting over every phone call and each answer to my questions I can be brave and withstand while enduring this time of uncertainty, which can only be done with Him.
So, can I be strong and courageous? Yes, I can because my hope is in Him