New seasons and challenges in life are always exciting, but can also carry a sense of trepidation and fear.
A coming move promises new opportunities and realized dreams, but there are so many unknowns.
Accepting a new semester, a new job, a new assignment, a new baby, some new course of action – these are all wonderful things when you are led to it by the Lord.
But. Isn’t there some fear of failure too? Some sense of risk and uncertainty and stress, and Oh God! What if…?
Joshua must have felt the same way as he stood on the brink of entering the promised land. It was just that – the promised land, the gift and provision of God that the people of Israel had been so long waiting for. In Joshua 1, God speaks to Joshua at the edge of the Jordan, at a pivotal moment of a new season in Joshua’s life – and in the life of the nation. Moses had just passed away, and as his assistant, Joshua had been trained and equipped by God to lead the people to take possession of the land God was giving them.
God said, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them…Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life…I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.”
What are you entering into? Where is God calling the sole of your foot to tread? Are you at the ‘edge of the Jordan’ in some way in your own life?
There is always fear. There is always timidity. There is always the flesh pulling you to ‘the left or the right’ of God’s commands. There is always the world with looming giants and terrifying obstacles. There is always the devil asking ‘has God really said?’ in regard to God’s promises.
But the Lord responds, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I’m not sure all the things that the Lord holds in store for myself and my family in coming months and years. The things that I do know I am really excited about, mixed with some anxiety. Most especially, I am excited about baby #3, Ezra Neal joining us in August! And quickly following that I anticipate many challenges with labor/delivery, sleepless nights, adjusting to the hard work of being mother of 3, being a good wife and friend through my own hard times, the hard work of losing weight and perhaps my biggest fear – the possibility of hormonal struggles and post-partum depression.
And yet God has graciously impressed His word upon my heart, and by His further grace I will be careful to hold tightly to His Word and to obey, following Him courageously into this new season. I will be strong and courageous, embracing the journey to come. I will not be frightened or dismayed by the hardships that come, but I will celebrate that the LORD is with me through child birth, transition and He will be with me even if I walk through ‘the valley of the shadow’. What could be more wonderful than His presence? Not a thing in this world compares.
Wherever God is leading you, don’t enter in with fear and timidity, but go courageously. Not in foolishness, but committing yourself to be careful to obey as He commands. “The LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Who knows? The place He leads you into may just be a land flowing with milk and honey. It has been prepared for you.
Go take possession.