Thursday, February 16, 2012

i am not alone in being afraid.

ever find yourself wanting to go back to egypt or the wilderness season in your life coz you are not liking the view of your current promise land?
 

these past few days, the words "be strong and courageous" have been swirling around in my head. it's interesting that these words were spoken more to Joshua than any other person in the bible. first it was spoken by moses to joshua, the new leader of the people of God. then these words were repeated by God Himself to Joshua so many times when He was about to cross the river into the promise land and while josh and them were in the promise land. and then Joshua spoke it over the people.

i asked myself..."now why would God repeat Himself several times to Joshua"? i mean im sure joshua was the kind of man that would hear an order once and he would obey the order in that instant. after all, he was the the chief commander of the army of israel during that time and he would not have gotten up to that rank if he was a rebellious hard headed brat.

yet God chose to repeat Himself SE-VE-RAL times -"be strong and courageous...do not be afraid".

as i read these verses, i began to wonder what Joshua was really feeling during that time. i wonder if he felt a punch in his gut while he looked over the horizon as he entered canaan and saw how big those giants really were next to him. i wonder if he was thinking "hold up God hold up...how many giants do we have to fight?? daaang God i thought there was only a couple of them?!?!?! there's a bajjilion of them out here. Wait...what do you mean i have to confront kings and priests and people & tell them about their idolatry? i don't do that...moses did that...not me...i have no clue how to do that!"

maybe God had to repeat be strong and courageous to joshua coz josh was NOT feeling like he was the man of the hour for that moment. maybe the sight of the giants and the vastness of the land made him feel small and weak and even fearful. joshua knew they had never been that way before so he really had no clue how to lead the people for this new season. there was no more manna, no fire and clouds and thunder and water gurgling from rocks. this was ALL NEW. i wonder if he was scared for the new.

i know when God repeats something to me several times...it's only because i'm feeling the exact opposite of what He is saying at that moment and He is wanting to encourage me with hope. i believe it served as God's encouragement but also His warning. coz He knew the kind of giants israel was about to face. He knew they had never been this way before and He needed to continue to be strong and courageous and not fear for the journey ahead. God knew He had to repeat it to Joshua until Joshua could fully believe that God equipped Him for everything He needed for the journey ahead. God knew He had to repeat it until Joshua came full circle and finally understood the call of God in His life and in return, He encouraged other people to be strong and courageous. (Joshua 10:25)

"be strong and courageous...do not be afraid". i hear those words being whispered in my heart. God  knows the need to sing those words over me continuously at this season, because right now, everything inside of me and around me is screaming "i'd rather be weak and fearful than strong and courageous. God i am afraid!" just like Joshua...i find my conversations with God end up with "hold up God...you want me to do whaaaat??!?!?!"

right now i am afraid of the new. new people to meet means new temperaments to try and figure out. new territory means places to scout and see where you really are supposed to be. making new friends means trying to put yourself out there and risk getting hurt and then by allowing yourself that experience, you filter the people who you should hold close to your heart and who to hold at a distance. a new location means trying to find a place to find your niche as well as to call your home. and sometimes it's not exactly what you thought it would look like in the beginning. the problem with the new is it can be so unsure. 

even though my life in Los Angeles was a wilderness season for me, sometimes i find that the heat of that desert season was more of a comfort to me than the paradise that's filled with giants right before my eyes. maybe that is why He chooses to sing His song of courage and strength over me coz He knows how much i need it. im glad to know that the chief commander of the army of israel needed that same kind of encouragement. it's good to know that i am not alone in being afraid.