“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, NIV.
“Courageous,” “terrified,” “discouraged.” I find it fascinating when we pull out these words from the Scripture in Joshua that they fall into a progression of sorts. Aren’t we like that as humans when trials come upon us? We might start out energized, expecting to conquer all of our enemies, then, when victory doesn’t happen in our perceived timeframe, we plunge over a cliff into full-blown fear, that eventually levels off somewhere around despair; here we hover, wondering where is God?
As the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic drags out after countless weeks of quarantine, people feel trapped in circumstances that are out of our control. Patience is waning, and tempers are flying. Let’s take another look at the passage leading into this writing: To begin, these words are from the Lord, and notice he says, “Have I not commanded you?” In other words, this is not a suggestion, or a debated issue, it is a command! Then, what follows is not a recipe for a solution to the problem at hand. No, it is even better than that. God makes a promise that he will be with us wherever we go and in the very midst of whatever we are going through. What an awesome statement from the God of the universe.
Friend, I have no idea when life will get back to normal, or if getting “back to normal” is even an option going forward. What I do believe with all of my heart is that God sees you and me; he hears us in our fear and fight to resume our daily lives and activities. Who doesn’t want to get a haircut? But, seriously, let us be as persistent in our praying as we are in our frustration. I cannot think of any One I would rather be “sheltered in place” with than the Lord Almighty!
“Be strong and courageous!”