Be strong and courageous.
That’s definitely not how I would describe myself.
I’m a play it safe kinda person. I’m more of a let’s-think-through-every-detail-and-make-multiple-plans-and-checklists-and-not-take-any-risks kinda person.
I’ve read the parable of the talents and thought, “But is the guy that protected what he was given so wrong?!?”
Apparently, because God says so.
At the beginning of this year, I spent some time reflecting on 2018 and what was ahead in 2019. Joshua 1:9 popped in my head.
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
Alrighty. I’d be lying if I said that that didn’t make me a little nervous. You begin thinking about what’s to come and God gives you “don’t be afraid”. Afraid? Afraid of what?!? Deep breaths. Deep breaths.
I was reminded that multiple times in December, I “ran into” the phrase “be strong and courageous”. (Fun fact: that phrase is used 14 times in the Old Testament. Who knew?)
As you probably know, when you “run into” something (especially scripture) multiple times in a short period of time, God is trying to get your attention.
So… Now I’m bracing myself and thinking, “Okay God. I’ll try to be strong and courageous.”
That’s enough of that. I decide to move on with my day and start scrolling through Facebook. I stopped when I saw that Jessie Seneca had shared a blog post called, “Signs of a Successful Event”. I’m always up for learning how to improve on The Connection’s events. I begin reading her post.
Guess what scripture she referenced?!?!?!
Joshua 1:8-9. Yeah!
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 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 1:8-9
Now God REALLY had my attention. I read this multiple times to be sure I wasn’t missing anything important. I saw so much more than just “don’t be afraid”. This time, I also noticed “for the Lord is with you wherever you go” at the end. Big sigh of relief inserted here! God is not just warning me that there are difficult times ahead but reminding me that I am not alone.
Adding Joshua 1:8 to the mix gives me instruction on how to deal with whatever comes along.
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
I need to be in the Word. Not just now and then. Not even once per day. Study it continually. Think about it day AND night.
AND there’s also that promise at the end of verse 8: “Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
Another big sigh of relief. Whatever struggles are ahead, if I draw near to God and spend time with His words, it’s not only going to be ok, but prosperous and successful.
Don’t you just love God?! Isn’t He just the best?!
But wait! There’s more…
I guess God just wanted to really put the cherry on the top this time.
This same day that I’m bombarded with Joshua 1:9, I go to the mailbox. There is a package there from China. Two months earlier I had felt compelled to order a bracelet that I had seen online. It just really grabbed me and without thinking about it, I ordered it from some random company that I had never heard of.
And then, the bracelet didn’t come.
And it didn’t come.
I thought what a fool I was to order from this company that had probably just taken my money.
BUT finally it had come! Two months later, I didn’t even remember what was on the bracelet. Care to guess???
But just the second part, “For the Lord is with you wherever you go.”
What a reminder!
And for God to hold delivery of the bracelet to this very day?!?
So how can I be anything but strong and courageous for I know that the Lord is with me wherever I go.
Mandy is a board member and executive director of The Connection. She loves to facilitate women connecting with each other and helping them grow in their faith.
Mandy and her husband have been married for 38 years and have 2 adult children, 2 in-law children and 3 grandchildren.