“A Lesson from Joshua”

“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.”

This was the command that the Lord gave to Joshua, after Moses’ death, as he sent him into the battle of Jericho.  Joshua seemed to feel as if he wasn’t qualified for such a task. But as we know, the battle ended in favor of Joshua and the Israelites.

But what I learned this week (as I continue to learn more about the bible) is that after this battle, the Lord commanded Joshua to do the same in the City of Ai. Once again the Lord commanded Joshua “Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land. And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho…”

There is a lesson to be learned from these verses and this story. Joshua didn’t feel confident in his new role as leader of the Israelite people. But he trusted God and was strong and courageous as the Lord instructed him to be. He indeed won the first battle but when the battle of Ai was to be fought, the Lord had to direct him again to not be afraid and to have courage. It seems as if Joshua had forgotten his victory at Jericho.

I find myself in the same predicament as Joshua quite often. I have fought and persevered through many “battles”. Battles within myself as well as with other issues/people in my life. But as soon as a new struggle arises (or quite often the same struggle all over again) I feel defeated.  I don’t immediately find strength in my past victories or recall how God led me through.

We can’t forget our victories through the grace and strength that God offers us. God wants us to have enough faith that we even see ourselves as being victorious before the struggle is over. Don’t forget what God has done for you. Let Him be your army as you go into battle. And if you find yourself there again, trust that He has gone ahead and that the war has already been won.

“The Beautiful Thing”

My spirit is bound by the darkness that holds it captive. The weight of it all most too much to bear in moments when I am at my weakest.
I pray that I might be like the sun when it is only hidden momentarily by the clouds surrounding it until a mighty wind forces the darkness away and the bright light bursts forth. It is a quick and effortless move and easily accomplished. But this is not me…

Instead I am the seed. I wait deep within the cover of the ground. It is cold and dark and the warm days seem as if they will never come. When will I gain the strength to break free and plant the roots that will allow me to stretch strong and tall?

Just as my impatience begins to further discourage me, I slowly begin to grow. It is an unhurried process but it allows me time to strengthen myself. Each day new parts of me are revealed and I begin to take shape. I start to feel warmer as I am pulled closer to the surface and I find myself growing more powerful. I suddenly erupt through the darkness and out of all that was holding me back. I finally rise up strong and tall. I radiate the love that was poured into me as I grew.

I am free.

I am the beautiful thing that God was making all along.

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“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; (Isaiah 43:2-3)