My lesson for the children’s class at church was ready. It was easy to put the lesson together, and I was excited to teach my precious little children’s class sweethearts. I had visuals and some fun activities to go with the Bible lesson. It was going to be perfect. My translator and I would teach these children the truths of the Bible together, and we would make a difference.
Then my husband let me know, “Isahaak is in his village today.” Suddenly my Bible lesson fairy tale came crashing down. My translator was not going to be there. I was counting on having him. My language skills were poor and insufficient. I had become quite dependent on my translator and even somewhat relaxed in my language studies because I knew my translator would help me. Now I was being told I had to teach the class alone.
Honestly, panic wanted to sweep over me. I can’t teach these kids! I, however, had no choice. I was the only one who could teach them. The children would all show up ready and waiting to hear a lesson from the Bible. Someone had to teach them, or the precious opportunity would pass by wasted. I prayed, took a deep breath, and taught the class.
Joshua 1:2 “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise…”
Moses, the leader and Joshua’s mentor, was gone. Joshua could no longer sit in the shadow of Moses. Joshua was now the leader appointed by God to take the children of Israel into the Promised Land.
I do not know what Joshua felt, but I can tell you how I would have felt in his shoes. When I was in the comfort zone of the shadow of my translator, I was confident and ready to tackle the children’s class. The moment my translator was gone, I wanted to panic. I have a feeling Joshua felt overwhelmed, too. God kept telling him multiple times to be strong and courageous. Apparently, Joshua needed a courage pep talk.
Sometimes we do not realize we are hiding in the shadows of something or someone else. We only realize it when suddenly that comfort zone is yanked away. God desires us to be dependent on Him and not dependent on our comfort zones. Sometimes He forces us to come out of the shadows. He calls to us, “Arise…” He tells us to have courage because He is with us. He is all we need.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
What is your comfort zone? What do you hide behind? What keeps you from trusting the Lord alone in difficult situations? You may not even realize the shadows in which you hide until they are removed. If you suddenly find a shadow removed, do not panic. Be strong and of a good courage. God is enough.
I have been to some interesting funerals. I have been to funerals that were mere celebrations and memories of a treasured life. They were not celebrations because people were happy to see the person gone, but because as the attendees reflected on the life of the person, they realized just how blessed they were to have been touched by the deceased. They also had great confidence that the deceased was now in the presence of the Lord because the life and the testimony the deceased reflected true fruit of salvation.
Then there have been those other funerals. It seems that when a person dies, suddenly he or she becomes a great saintly hero no matter how terrible of a life they lived. I have been to funerals of people who were selfish, cruel, and wicked throughout life. People at those funerals behaved strangely. Instead of admitting the obvious, these people reach way back in the recesses of their memories to find some sweet or kind thought about the deceased. Sometimes they even lied. The kind sentiments said at these funerals is often the product of compassion for family members of the deceased.
Joshua 1:1 “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,”
Joshua was writing, and he remembered Moses after Moses died. He called Moses “the servant of the LORD.” What a wonderful thing for someone to say about another person! Was Joshua lying, though? Was he just being kind or compassionate?
Joshua 1:2 “ Moses my servant is dead…”
God, who never lies, said the same thing about Moses. He called him “my servant.” It is one thing to have people say something kind about you. It is even greater to have the Lord say something good about you.
There is one thing about what Joshua and God said about Moses that will be true about all of us one day.
Joshua: “… after the death of Moses…”
God: “Moses… is dead.”
One day, that will be said of us all. We will die. That is something we cannot avoid. The part that can be changed is what is said about us after death.
“Mom, my faithful friend, is dead”
“My wife, and dearest companion, is dead.”
“My co-worker, my greatest encourager, is dead.”
“My fellow church member, my dependable leader, teacher and example, is dead.”
When I die I want people to be able to be honest about me. I hope they can say good things about me when I am gone. I hope thoughts of me will bring them joy. I hope words like, faithful, honest, loving, and Godly flow off their lips from a clear conscience. Through Christ and His power, I can be those things.
More than the kind words of people, I hope that when my life is finished, my God will be able to say something good about me. The thought of these words motivate me greatly.
“Well done thou good and faithful servant…”