Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:9 (ESV)
The book of Joshua describes the entry of God’s people Israel into the promised land of Canaan after their 40-year journey wandering in the wilderness. After the death of Moses, God spoke words of encouragement, promise and purpose to Joshua, who would be the one to finally lead God’s people to their destination. The verse above is the conclusion of God’s pep talk to Joshua, with the powerful reminder, “God is with you wherever you go.”
This was a time of transition for God’s people. They are now following a new leader, entering a new land, and establishing themselves in a new community with new roles. They were also facing new challenges and new enemies. And, God was with them throughout.
Spring is most certainly a time of transition in our community as well. Fields are prepared for a new growing season. Yards are cleaned and flowers are planted. Birds return from their winter homes. Trees and plants rouse from their winter slumbers. Students and parents make plans for the summer. High school seniors prepare for a new chapter in life after graduation. Houses of worship switch to summer schedules. And, God is with us throughout.
Transitions aren’t always easy. Sometimes we feel rushed. Other times it feels like it took 40 years to reach the next chapter in life. Sometimes transitions lead to exciting new experiences. Other times they lead to difficult new realities in life. But, God is with us throughout.
As I write this our community continues to wrestle with the reality that one of our sons is still missing. Our community is not complete. We continue to pray for Jake Wilson, his family, and our civil servants as they continue their search. We give thanks to God for the thousands of volunteers who helped search, who provided meals, and who selflessly shared their time and energy. Truly, the outpouring of support from our community and beyond is Christian witness at its finest, and God has been with us throughout. And our faith assures us that God has ben with Jake throughout.
Whatever transitions are happening in your life this month I encourage you to remember God’s words to Joshua. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” God will always be with us throughout.