"No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you." Joshua 1:5 (NLT)
Two-year-old Luke stood at the edge of the pool. Yellow floaties hugged his arms. A swim diaper padded his bathing suit. Sweet little goggles made him look like a frog.
I stood waist deep in water, my arms open wide. "Come on, buddy. You can do this."
He edged closer and peered in, then backed away. After several steps back and forth, Luke finally sat on the edge and dipped his toes in the water. I slipped next to him, scooped him up and held him close.
Into the water we went. "I got you, buddy. I got you," I whispered.
He could have fought me, but he trusted instead. Over the next two hours, Luke gained courage to go farther and farther. Any time he felt frightened, he whispered under his breath, "I got you, buddy. I got you." It was his assurance that no matter how scary it felt, he was not alone.
Sometimes knowing we aren't alone gives us the courage to press on. It's what Joshua needed when he was thrust overnight into leadership after the death of Moses. Up until that time, Joshua had served as assistant. But in his new role, Joshua led the nation of Israel, conquering the land God had promised and leading three separate conquests.
While the Bible doesn't detail all of Joshua's emotions during this time, we read of numerous instances where God encouraged Joshua to be "strong and courageous." God must have known Joshua needed some reassurance.
Perhaps Joshua had doubts. Perhaps his confidence waned. Maybe he even asked questions like, God, are You sure? Shouldn't You choose someone more qualified?
God didn't dismiss Joshua's fears or shame him for having them. Instead He spoke clearly to Joshua, saying, "... I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you" (Joshua 1:5b).
I got you, buddy. I got you.
History shows that Joshua took steps of faith and served as a powerful, humble leader, trusting God through war, human frailty and victory.
Maybe God has been asking you to take a leap into deeper faith, or to serve beyond what you think you are capable. He's asked you to lead. To love like Jesus.
Perhaps you've come close, but backed away. Maybe you even dipped your toes in, reasoning that was enough.
Questions linger. What does God see in me that I might not see yet? What if I fail? What if it's too hard or no one is on board with me? What if I don't recognize God's help and miss my opportunity?
God is aware of your fears. And He whispers the same encouragement to you that He spoke to Joshua. He's got you.
Not too long ago, I stood in the pool again. Luke wore his floaties. He had on his swim diaper. His cute goggles made him look like a little frog. I held open my arms, and my little guy jumped with glee into my arms.
And this time, I didn't have to say it, because he knew it. It was ingrained on his heart.
I got you, buddy. I got you.
Dear Jesus, I've stood right on the edge, waiting for You to choose someone else, or naming all the reasons I'm not equipped. Today I hear Your voice and I take that step, for You are with me. In Jesus' Name, amen.
Reflect and Respond: Most large dreams or jobs are comprised of many smaller tasks. What is one small step you can take, beginning today?
Why are you afraid to try? Ask the Lord to release you from that fear and to trust Him.
Power Verses: Joshua 1:9, "This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (NLT)
© 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org