Be Courageous

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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NASB

Everyone was surprised when Moses died.  He was old, but his death was unexpected according to Deuteronomy 34:7. Word spread rapidly through the camp.  The likely successor was Joshua since he had been Moses’ assistant.  Moses had previously “laid hands” on him, and he had gained the blessing of wisdom from God.

After thirty days of mourning, God spoke to Joshua.  He was aware God had spoken to Moses, but what a shock it must have been to have God talk to him.  God picked him to be the new leader of Israel.

Before he could even get accustomed to the idea, he was given an enormous task.  He was to lead the Israelites across the Jordan river into the promised land.  For forty years Joshua had followed the instructions of Moses, but now he was the leader.

It seemed God knew Joshua was unsure of himself.  He repeated three times, “Be strong and courageous,” God told him to just follow His law and everything would be alright.  He went further and instructed Joshua to “meditate on it day and night…so that you may have success.”

My father died unexpectedly when he was ninety years old.  I really thought he would live past one hundred.  He was sharp of mind and still drove a car.  He was caring for my dementia-impaired mother with a little help from my brother who lived nearby.

The last time I visited Dad, I suggested he get some help, but he said they were fine for the present time.  In an instant, Dad was gone. He died on his living room floor.  My oldest surviving brother and his wife who live nearby took care of the essentials until others could arrive.

After the funeral decisions about Mom had to be made.  All things considered, it was decided she would move in with me in Florida.  Suddenly, I was my mother’s primary caregiver.

This may sound like your story, or maybe it was a more gradual process.  Possibly, you were forced to step in once your loved-one could no longer live safely alone.  Whatever the reason, you are now in charge.

It is hard enough to be a full-time caregiver, but some must deal with other problems like legal issues.  Sometimes family differences turn sibling against sibling.  I’ve even seen the matters divide families only to be resolved by a judge.

No matter how difficult your circumstances, God is with you.  Take the advice God gave Joshua. Don’t be afraid.  Be strong and courageous.

When you begin to waiver, draw your courage from His Word.  Read the scriptures.  Meditate on its message.  Then, pray over it, and listen for the guidance of the Spirit.  God will give you courage for the moment.  The famous actor, but the not-so-great theologian, John Wayne said it this way, “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”

Be courageous!  God is with you!

(©) Copyright 2018 Ronald Milburn

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