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.” (Joshua 1:9)
Have you ever said to a frightened child, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here.” That is what this passage feels like to me today. It’s been quite a rumbly twelve months and if you are like me, you might need to hear God speak courage to your soul. Unlike human parents, who have limited control over their children’s well-being, when God speaks encouragement over your life you can take it to the bank! He WILL and CAN be with us wherever we go and this reality—GOD WITH US—gives us strength and courage.
When I think of peace in tribulation, the image of Jesus asleep in a violent storm comes to mind. Can you picture that small boat tossed about on the Sea of Galilee and the disciples white with fear? Frantic, they came upon Jesus sound asleep with His head on a pillow!
God’s reign over all of life blanketed our Savior with a Shalom that freed Him from fear and allowed Him to sleep — even in the middle of a raging storm.
Jesus had no fear for His life because He knew something definitive about His Father. Asleep on a boat or hanging on a cross, God ALWAYS had hold of him! His Father always knew the Plan and remained perfectly able to accomplish it. It’s tempting to tie our peace to circumstances and outcomes that we cannot control but, I suspect that rather than cursing the storms, we find our courage as we remember that the ONE who is able -IS WITH US–and invites us to come put our head on the pillow next to His.
Prayer of Response:
“Father, give us courage to trust You in good times and bad. Thank You that You always know what’s going on around us and remain ever faithful. Help us remember that You go with us wherever we go. Amen.”
—Submitted by Judy Villanueva
Judy lives with her husband in Colorado, near the kids and grands. She completed her masters at Fuller Theological Seminary, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Spiritual Director, and writer. Her Bible reflections can be found at listeningforlove.net