Like baseball, life often involves unexpected curveballs coming our way. Just when we think things are going well, something unexpected happens. An accident, a bad report from the doctor, a death, relationship issues, a poor decision, difficulties at work, financial problems, the car breaks down. The list can go on and on. Like a curveball, the situation plunges into unexpected territory leaving us with unanswered questions, fear, frustration, and possibly doubt.
Joshua may have felt that he had been thrown an unexpected curve ball when Moses’s death determined that he would now be leading the people into the Promised Land. Although he had been an aide to Moses, this leadership role would be a huge task for Joshua. There must have been a lot going through his mind. Questions, concern, fear, and doubt.
Entering the Promised Land would be a challenge for Joshua because it meant they would have to conquer all of the current inhabitants. This may have been a curve ball, but the good news was that God had begun preparing Joshua for this moment since before Moses’ death. God anticipated Joshua’s feelings and gave Moses some very specific words of encouragement to share with Joshua:
- Be strong and courageous.
- Do not be afraid.
- God is with you and will never leave you.
God’s promise to Joshua still stands true for each of us today. When the unexpected happens, He will be with us throughout the journey. What a comfort to feel His presence and to know you aren’t alone!
After Moses’ death, God reminded Joshua of all these things in Joshua 1:5-7. He added more instruction in verse 8: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 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.”
The last word of encouragement: Study God’s word. This is an integral step in order for us to be successful. God gave Joshua all that he needed to be successful, but obedience was a key factor.
Joshua obeyed God’s plan for him. He immediately began to prepare to cross the Jordan and take possession of the land that God had designated for His people. He didn’t allow a curve ball to destroy his courage. The same is true for each of us. We just need to obey and have the courage to believe that God will be with us when the curve ball is thrown.
What curve ball has been thrown at you? Are your feelings keeping you from stepping out in obedience? Like Joshua, can you obey and trust that God is with you every step of the way?