Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
This is the time of year my family starts getting really excited to see the newest epic movies to be released around the holidays – we save them so we can go and experience this epic event all together. It’s the new holiday blockbusters that Hollywood has been getting us excited about seeing all year. In years past we loved things like; Braveheart, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Home Alones. Sadly, this year I’m unclear on the quality of the choices. One of my favorite years was two years ago when the final chapter of the Hunger Games was released. Spoiler alert… the final rebellion will take place. The Capital will finally see defeat. The good guys win! “The Mockingjay, Katniss,” is our hero. She inspires and challenges the people to rise above the abusive rule of the capital. They are going in to take their land back from the perverted Capital dwellers. The land belongs to all the people. It’s scary, It’s a challenge, it’s exciting, it is uncharted territory for everyone…. but this is the moment in time to go in.
I was thinking of this when I read Joshua chapter 1 today. For me, Joshua chapter 1:1-11 is one of my top favs. When I read the whole thing out loud, I try to imagine myself being there in that time and place watching this epic scene unfold. The Lord said to Joshua, “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give them!” One sentence, but a generation of waiting to hear these words, and now here they are!!! Epic! Joshua yelled to the crowd, “today is the day guys! After all these years, it’s today!” Barely blinking, making sure not to miss one second of what they had waited a lifetime to have finally happen.
God raised up an incredible man of faith for that moment, Joshua. I have always pictured Joshua being probably the coolest guy in the Bible. I have a 18 year-old nephew named Joshua and he is cool! He is a joy and delight- he has been called out by God. He loves Jesus and serves him faithfully in his life. I love all “the Joshua’s” God has given to me and Bill- these young handsome men, strong and courageous living boldly in a wrecked world with conviction and passion. I’m imagining my Joshua not even hesitating but stepping up and saying – “I’m Ready!” “Let’s go!”
God promises that as he was with Moses, he will be with Joshua. God tells him to, be strong and courageous! He gives him the directions… Be obedient, meditate on God’s word day and night, then you will have success. Don’t be terrified; don’t be discouraged, God is with you. Joshua listens, obeys and says…. “Let’s go in!” Epic!
Every time Bill and I have followed the Lords call it has been Epic. We followed the Lord to find each other and started our story. Four years later we packed up our life from our seminary apartment in Fort Worth, Texas to begin our journey together in family and ministry. We first moved to Comanche, Oklahoma, the state of my birth and the birth of our first born, Lance, then to Mustang, Oklahoma where our baby girl Rachel was born, then the four of us took a big leap across the ocean to Aix en Province France, then back home where we started to Fort Worth, Texas, and in 2009 to Elizabethtown, Kentucky where my husband, Bill grew up.
At every point in our lives we’ve turned to the words that God spoke to Joshua- “get ready to cross over into the land I am about to give you, do not be afraid, be strong and courageous.” We’ve loved the people and places God has led us to, we are so honored to get to do what we do. Each “crossing the Jordan “for us has been epic. Uprooting our lives to go and never staying when He said to go. No regrets. It is not only doable but it is an adventure to serve God in the way he has called each of us to serve- each of us writing our own story with each choice we make.
I’m standing ready, strong, courageous, obedient, the Bible as my GPS, not terrified, not discouraged, but successful for His glory. Serving Jesus joyfully in Kentucky. How is your Epic life working out? If you are on the journey with Jesus, it’s truly epic. Don’t settle. Our journey isn’t over yet, but one thing I know for sure, the ending is going to be epic, spoiler alert, Jesus wins!!
Dedicated to our beautiful Rachel and our “Joshua-esc” son in law, Phil, as they continue living the epic life God has prepared for them to His glory!
*a revision from November 2015