Joshua Installed as Leader

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Joshua 1:1-9 - Joshua Installed as Leader
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 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.”

Hello Friends!!! As I type this morning (on 5/14) the rain is coming down and the sky is as dark as night… quite the opposite from last week’s weather report! How necessary it is to find blessings in a variety of circumstances. It’s easy to Praise The Lord when the sun is shining and the sky is blue and the flowers are blooming and a refreshing breeze is blowing. It becomes more difficult when our view of how life ought to be doesn’t quite stack up when compared to the reality! God’s love and grace is found in the rain and in the storm clouds and in the darkness too. He can be harder to find but He is present. Do you remember the words to that classic Hymn? “When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil!” This present crisis is no different. God is with us. He is providing for us, but He is also giving us opportunities to encourage, serve, and illuminate this situation with Light of His Word… His Gospel.

Our current state affairs requires God’s people to exhibit strength and courage! As we all know our equilibrium has been upended in the last few months. It takes strength and courage to cope and to find new ways of functioning and new opportunities in which to thrive. We can’t run away from this moment. The good news is that we have no reason to for we are people of hope grounded in our Almighty God. We may be tempted to. I remember talking to one of the most faithful caregivers I have ever had the pleasure of working with at The Christian Village. A daughter of one of our former residents. She was one of the best! She told me one day that on a particularly difficult day she thought about getting in the car, going to the bank, withdrawing all her savings, and she would just head west and see how far she could get before all her money ran out. Do you ever feel like running away? You are human! This caregiver and daughter felt that way but kept showing up day in and day out to take care of her loved one. This is a time for strong and courageous children of God! I have had the pleasure of knowing many over the years and I am thankful that I know many today!

Strength and Courage can be our best friends through illness or threat of illness, through lost income, through not being able to see and hold and hug our family members, and through the uncertainty of tomorrow and next week and next month and next year. We feel fear but we don’t let fear control us. We keep moving forward. We keep fighting. We do not wave the white flag of surrender. We have a family and a community that needs us and so we press on.

God also pointed Joshua to the Law of Moses as a source of strength and courage. The Ten Commandments and the expounding of those commandments as taught in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy provided healthy boundaries based on timeless truths and divine principles which ably guided the Israelites during times of change and trial. During “normal” seasons of life, as well as “dynamic” seasons of life, we need something to hold on to that give us stability and informs us of our purpose, our identity, and what is expected of us. The Israelites needed these boundaries and felt security in them. We are no different. We find safety and security and confidence in Truth… in Purpose… in Direction… in Identity. If there is no one in our lives to teach us these timeless truths we will look for them ourselves and/or manufacture something that we can live with. Guiding principles lead us toward a life of integrity… without integrity we fall… “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” So yes, the Law of Moses… the Law of God… the commandments to Love the Lord our God with all of our Whole Selves, and the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves, mold who we are and give us the direction we need to know who we are, who we belong to, and what our mission is. God’s Revelation to Man… His Truth as revealed in Holy Scripture… gives us Strength and Courage through the good times, the bad times, and everything in between. Will we always be faithful in our thoughts and in our actions to the letter, or more importantly, to the spirit of The Law? No. Do we have a Savior who brings redemption, grace, and lovingly molds us into a vessel that He can use? Yes! I feel my strength and courage growing! How about you? Do you hear His voice? “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” - Thanks Be to God…Amen!

 Chaplan Ryan


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