6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
“Be strong and courageous”, this phrase was repeated three times in this passage of scripture. The Lord spoke them when He commanded Joshua, after Moses’ death, to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. He promised Joshua that He would not fail him or abandon him. So armed with God’s explicit instructions and His promise of success, Joshua led his people across the Jordan River.
"Be strong and courageous! For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” What a great promise to sustain us through a tumultuous year 2020! Navigating our lives through the pandemic, quarantines, facing financial difficulties, fractured relationships, managing children’s schooling, trying to comfort the elderly in facilities, social unrest, horrible wildfires, bad air, power outages, a contentious election! We deeply miss the face to face interactions with our loved ones and others outside of our immediate family. We’ve cancelled vacations, health appointments, special events such as weddings, milestone birthdays or anniversaries, social engagements, even dental appointments! And what to do with the holidays coming up?
“Be strong and courageous! For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 has special meaning for me. I cling to God’s promise as I battle breast cancer for the second time. I survived my first bout 34 years ago. I wasn’t close to God then, but He pulled me through. This time, because He continues to hold me close, I am at peace with what lies ahead in terms of treatment and healing. He will never leave me. He promised!
One of our Christmas Traditions is to walk or drive down Christmas Tree Lane (Thompson Street, Alameda, CA). Listening to Christmas music, sipping on hot cocoa and being in awe by the twinkling lights is refreshing for the soul.
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5