These powerful words were said to Joshua, as he replaced Moses as spiritual and military leader of God’s people, during the conquest of the Promised Land. He is to be strong and courageous and claim the promise by carefully following God’s law. Thankfully, throughout the Scriptures, there are repeated calls to be strong and take courage, a reminder we all need.
Of course, our first reaction is usually to be afraid. Doubtless, none of us can imagine having to replace Moses, a hero of the Hebrew Scriptures. Yet in all our caretaking experiences, (be they encountering frailty, dependence, total responsibility for meals, personal care and more,) we are also fearful of the unknown. Dealing with the realities of our aging family members, friends and ourselves, we need to spend ample time absorbing God’s word, letting this speak to our hearts, where it changes the way we think and live.
I have found that trusting in God’s unfailing love, creates awareness of how utterly secure I really am. Gratefully, I have seen evidence my entire life that, whatever comes to be, God will take care of it. To be steadfast, firmly fixed in place and faithful means not letting the emptiness in our lives paralyze us. Fear gives way to faith, when we trust we are in God’s hands.
We hold ourselves back in ways big and small, by lacking self-confidence. “Self-doubt and confidence don’t work together; they work against each other. Confidence will destroy self-doubt, but self-doubt will destroy confidence.” (Joyce Meyers – The Confident Woman Devotional 2011) Worth noting, being dismayed is to be deprived of courage, resolution and initiative through the pressure of sudden fear or anxiety. God’s active presence encourages us to walk in His favor, even when we are wounded, trusting His presence and love is always with us, carrying us and those we love, each step of the journey.
I shared an acronym in a previous blog – fear – “False Evidence Appearing Real” and found another in a Unity book article by Rev. Toni Stephens Coleman – “Feel Everything and Rise.” Often the threat is in our mind and we might need a change of thinking. “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
When we are particularly tired, frustrated and stressed, our concerns are magnified. Sharing our feelings (whether lighthearted/heavyhearted) openly in prayer, we are assured God loves us unconditionally, even when we are not loving ourselves. If we have grown comfortable in doubt, recognize that every moment of life offers challenges and opportunities to move away from our personal deserts and into our promised land.
Do you have an example of remaining steadfast to share?