By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
First day of school. First day of a new job. A big decision. A new season. An unexpected journey.
New things always carry with them anxiety, worry, and a healthy heaping of the unknown. “What if...” is the question on everyone’s mind. As humans, we are creatures of habit–the unfamiliar will always push us out of our comfort zones.
I think Joshua may have felt what so many of us feel. Standing on the border of the Promised Land, Joshua is given a job that must have carried a lot of unknowns and a ton of “What if’s”.
Moses, the current leader of the People of God, speaks these words to Israel:
“I am now one hundred twenty years old. I am no longer able to get about, and the Lord has told me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan.’ The Lord your God himself will cross over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua also will cross over before you, as the Lord promised”
I imagine that Joshua was surprised by this proclamation. Me? What do I know about leading a nation? I can’t do this. What if I lead them in a way that God doesn’t desire? What if I fail? What if they don’t like me? What if…?
The fact of the matter is that Joshua’s feeling this way, is totally valid. It’s understandable. I think, if any of us were standing in his shoes, we would be thinking much of the same.
And I think God knows this. God knew the “What if’s” were prevalent in Joshua’s mind. He knew that Joshua must have been freaking out. He knew that with a new season comes unique uncertainties and fresh frets. I think God knew what Joshua was going through and He cared, which is why He said this:
“Then the Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun and said, ‘Be strong and bold, for you shall bring the Israelites into the land that I promised them; I will be with you’” (Joshua 31:23).
In the midst of this period of worry and anxiety, be strong and bold! Stand up straight. Raise up your chin. Speak up, loud and clear. Do your duty with diligence and confidence. Be strong. Be bold.
Because Yahweh, God of the Israelites, is with you! You aren’t leading the Israelites on your own. You aren’t entering into unfamiliar territory by yourself. You aren’t facing the unknown without help by your side.
There is an assurance that should come to us, amid new seasons, that our God cares and He is with us. We aren’t alone.
So, be strong. Be bold.
And face the Promised Land with your head held high.