The past few weeks, God has been hammering me with Joshua 1…mainly verses 5 through 9 and the more I read it, the more certain words and phrases would jump off the page:
5 “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
6 “Be strong and of good courage…”
7 “Only be thou strong and very courageous…”
8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night…”
9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
I tried to analyze these particular words. What significance did they have for me? Don’t get me wrong, the entire bible is SIGNIFICANT. But when certain words are standing out more than others, than God is trying to tell you something. What it boils down to is faithfulness and obedience. I have had quite a unique journey from November of 2016 through most of 2017. I won’t use this post to tell the entire story, but two surgeries within that time almost resulted in this writer being completely homeless. God was a constant provider every step of the way. My hope, my companion, my EVERYTHING.
My faith deepened to levels I didn’t know could happen. My love and joy for what God had brought me through was hard to contain. Anyone who would ask how I was not distraught about my situation received the same answer over and over: GOD. When you believe that He is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do, faith is not difficult. Especially when you experience circumstances that should have you weeping non-stop. But I just take a deep breath and say, I know you’ve got this God. Giving up control can be scary. However, the more you release control to God, the easier it gets. And that brings me to this post of what is God trying to say to me that I’m not understanding? I gave up control and put all my faith and trust in Him throughout the entire ordeal of two surgeries and recovery. I couldn’t figure out what I was not comprehending or what I was lacking in regards to faith.
Then the past few days I decided to concentrate on reading the Book of Psalms, randomly picking each one to read instead of going in order. I started with Psalm 27. The last verse reads “wait on the LORD: be of good courage…” What? Again with good courage? The next day I picked another Psalm. This time number 31. And yes, you guessed it – “Be of good courage.”
Okay, so now I know God is trying to work something out in me that I’m lacking or at least trying to get me to recognize that something in me is not to His standards. Then after much contemplation I decided to look up the word “good.” What synonyms could I find? And there were dozens. But one word jumped out at me immediately…OBEDIENT. Then it all made sense. I wasn’t obedient in meditating on Scripture the way I should. I wasn’t obedient in preparing spiritually for an upcoming mission trip to Africa. I was also letting some anxiety seep in, even though I’m excited for this trip. Good Courage…obedient fearlessness…knowing God will take care of this new journey I will be embarking on. Obedient in my faith to Him by studying His word, the One who has always been faithful to me. Obedient in letting Him have control once again. I was trying to force this trip to take place at a particular time, when in fact it’s all a matter of God’s timing.
We seem to always need to be reminded of that. Our timing is totally different from God’s timing. Even though I know I’m being called to serve in Senegal, I was placing myself there when I thought I should be there…not when God needs me there. After accepting that obedience to Him regarding His timing, His control, His provision, and obedience to meditating on Scripture was the issue, that little bit of anxiety that started to creep in has disappeared. I’m still excited…but it’s a “be of good courage” excited…and that makes all the difference.
Love and Blessings!
Christine Maria Jahn