Confession…I am prone to being afraid. Lots of things scare me. Most of them have to do with my ability to perform in my assigned roles. Some of them have to do with grubs and snakes. Others have to do with losing people who are close to me. My point is, I’m scared a lot of the time. I deal with this fear by being aggressive. I also deal with this fear by educating myself. And here’s my thought on why I do this.
1. If I act like I’m not scared, maybe no one will notice and maybe, just maybe, whatever I’m afraid of will buy my act and leave me alone.
2. If I educate myself, I will be less afraid because reason will take over and fear will lessen.
The problem with these methods, is they only work 10% of the time. The other 90% of the time, I am just scared and aggressive and educated, which leads to me sounding like a mean lunatic who thinks they know everything. Yeah, it’s helpful, NOT. I wonder if Joshua, the one from the Bible, felt the same way when Moses died and left him in charge.
Joshua had been prepared for this moment. Moses put Joshua in charge, and expected him to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. I mean, 40 years wandering around in the desert is enough for anyone. However, when it came down to it, I have to believe Joshua was freaking out. I imagine that he was in the middle of one of those moments of panic and unbelief when God starts talking to him.
“My servant Moses is dead. Now get ready to cross over the Jordan with this entire people to the land that I am going to give to the Israelites. I am giving you every place where you set foot, exactly as I promised Moses. Your territory will stretch from the desert and the Lebanon as far as the great Euphrates River, including all Hittite land, up to the Mediterranean Sea on the west. No one will be able to stand up against you during your lifetime. I will be with you in the same way I was with Moses. I won’t desert you or leave you. Be brave and strong, because you are the one who will help this people take possession of the land, which I pledged to give to their ancestors.
“Be very brave and strong as you carefully obey all of the Instruction that Moses my servant commanded you. Don’t deviate even a bit from it, either to the right or left. Then you will have success wherever you go. Never stop speaking about this Instruction scroll. Recite it day and night so you can carefully obey everything written in it. Then you will accomplish your objectives and you will succeed. I’ve commanded you to be brave and strong, haven’t I? Don’t be alarmed or terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~Joshua 1:2-9
Honestly, if God had said all of this to me, I might have been even more overwhelmed. I know God said He would help Joshua like He had helped Moses, but what guarantee did he have? He had God’s promise and what God promises Joshua is help, guidance, and eventually success. But first, Joshua had to move. He had to take the steps God was asking him to take. He had to be obedient, diligent and courageous.
The truth is, the aggressive approach and the self-educating approach, they don’t have anything to do with me being obedient, diligent, or courageous. They’re a stall tactic. They buy me time. They keep me comfortable for just a little while longer. And unfortunately, they indulge my disobedience. Yup. I’m being disobedient.
I don’t know what the next steps are for you in your life. I don’t even know what the next steps for my life! I do know that God promises to be with me and I know He promises to be with you. I know He’s got the next steps prepared. Maybe I should trust His promise to me. Maybe I should remember that He is with me wherever I go. And maybe I should be courageous.
Until another confession…