On Being Brave

“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.” - Joshua 1:9

It starts for me every year about two weeks from the end of summer: the teacher dreams. My recurring stress dream, where I show up to the first day of school totally unprepared. I have no lesson plan, no slides made, no seating chart and a bunch of students (most of whom I already had - and in real life passed my class) staring at me waiting for class to start.

Even though I’m a grownup and have been teaching for years now, every single year, I start the school year with a desperate need to rely on God.

Any time I start something new, I get afraid. I don’t like change, don’t like the unknowns that fill any new situation. And I’m sure you’re that way too. Do you remember your first day pulling up to camp, realizing your parents were minutes away from driving off and leaving you here for a few weeks? Or maybe you’re like me and get the jitters when you’re starting a new school year, new sports team, or a new job. Change is scary. Unknowns are scary. But the good news is that we don’t have to be afraid because we have God.

When God commanded the Israelites in Joshua 1, they had been wandering the desert for forty years and were finally about to step into their inheritance, the land God promised Moses so many years before. Yet before they made it to their land, they had to go through Jericho. There were so many unknowns for the Israelites, but God promised that He would be with them. As they trusted in Him (albeit with lots of fear and complaining), God delivered them and settled them in their land. God was faithful to His promises and faithful to His people, no matter how afraid they were.

God promises to be with you too. In every new venture you take, He is there, ready to guide you through the highs and lows of each new season and change. As you start something new, you can be brave because He is with you. Remember how faithful He has already been, and how faithful He will be to you.

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