BIBLE READING: Joshua 1-4
“Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over the Jordan…” -Joshua 1.2
Do you remember those first day jitters you had before the first day of school or the first day of a new job? As I recall, those feeling were a combination of excitement and fear. It seemed to always put me under a great deal of pressure. Based on the reading for the day, I am convinced that Joshua felt the same way before he took on his new position as the leader of the nation of Israel. As I re-read that passage, I often wonder if it was early in the morning after the death of Moses that God calls Joshua, because God said “arise”. We know that Moses had already informed Joshua that God had selected him to be Moses’ successor in Deuteronomy 31, but with Moses now dead, reality was about to set in. Memories of his journey throughout the land of Canaan must have haunted him for the last forty years they had wandered. He was so convinced, along with Caleb, that the land was already theirs and yet despite their efforts they were not able to convince the people. What was going to make this time any different? Had the people learned their lesson? I would expect the amount of “what-ifs” on his mind were endless. God must have picked up on that vibe as we see three times in Joshua 1, God encourages Joshua to be strong and courageous. Was Joshua afraid? I believe so, but I don’t believe he was afraid of God’s plan not coming to fruition. If anyone had faith that God could do the impossible, it was Joshua. Yet, the fears that he was facing was much more about Joshua, than it was God. God places a lot of pressure on Joshua, but God also is fully aware of the potential that Joshua had. Although on the surface pressure seems to be a negative thing because of the feelings of uncertainty and the possibility of failure, it can also be a very positive thing, if pressure is handled correctly. Pressure makes us stronger; it prepares us, and it has the potential to bring out the best in us. Henry Kissinger once said, “A diamond is a chunk of coal that did really well under pressure.” I believe that Joshua is one of those fine diamonds, but only because he was willing to accept the challenge before him, trust in God and step out in faith. Maybe you are feeling pressure at home, work or maybe even at church? You have the potential to trust God and step out in faith to become one of His diamonds, or you can remain just a chunk of coal; what are you going to become today?