Every time we read or hear God’s Word, He gives us a new slant on its meaning. We can read it a thousand times and it will always encourage, uplift, convict, or comfort us. How great is that? So let’s make sure we keep reading!
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Years before my mother started having memory loss, she would repeat the stories about her childhood to me. I spent a lot of time with her and admit that many times I grew not only weary but impatient with her repetitions. Not until I grew older, myself, did I learn to appreciate her repeated stories. If she hadn't told them to me so many times, I would not have remembered them. Because she did, I now have the privilege of passing them down to my own children and grandchildren. Some things are worth repeating. And like my mother, I'll repeat my own stories to them, as well. They've become a rich legacy.
After Moses' death, Joshua took over his role of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. Joshua had been a close, faithful assistant of Moses for forty years of wandering in the desert. When he found himself at the edge of the deep, wide Jordan River, alone and without the help of his mentor, his heart must have wavered. Who was there to rely on now? How could he possibly lead more than a million people without the great Moses?
God had some good advice for Joshua—advice that He felt worth repeating. "Be strong…and courageous," God told him. Not once, not twice, but four times in the space of a short conversation. Check out the first nine verses of Joshua 1.
God knew that Joshua, now an old man himself, could leave the safe past behind him and start out by himself on this daunting trip. But God knew Joshua needed all the encouragement He could give. And so God repeated His words—over and over.
I have a friend who was divorced many years ago, who still carries her grief around and is unable to make a new life for herself. I know people who cannot get beyond the pain of losing a loved one even after years of grieving. Some even put up shrines to the deceased where they can speak to the loved one, unable to sever the ties. Like Joshua, we all lose people, and things, which are dear to us. But God offers the strength and encouragement we need to move on. Like Joshua, when we avail ourselves of that, we grow stronger and become more fulfilled than when we choose to remain powerless or paralyzed in our misery.
Lord, we want to be like Joshua, ready to shed the effects of the past, letting go of our losses, so we can go forward with the strength and encouragement that You give. In Jesus' name, amen.