Quote13) August 2014
“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 chapter 1 verse 9
You can do it!
That great British icon Sir Elton John co-wrote and recorded
a song back in the 70’s called, “Sorry seems to be the hardest word.” Right
now, I have to say, that for me “Goodbye” seems to be the hardest word. This
will be my last ‘quote’ before I move to London.
The ‘life-laundry’ has begun with trips to the dump and the
local charity shop. The whole moving process is gathering momentum and with
each passing day moving on is becoming a reality.
Each of my churches, the circuit and my colleagues, have
given me the best ‘send-off’ ever. I will remember it always. The dearest words
have been said to me which I will always treasure particularly as it is with a
healthy(?) degree of anxiety that I prepare for my new job and location. God is
good and the recurring verse I have heard in recent weeks is the verse above.
The fact is that I am neither strong nor courageous. However,
I do feel anxious and daunted! I remember when I was a child I was terrified of
thunder and lightning. I love to watch a good storm now but when I was much younger
I was under the misapprehension that I would come to some harm. I knew that people
had been struck by lightning – add to that the threatening sound of thunder -
and I was a quivering wreck! One night I remember lying in bed as a little
child when a thunderstorm began. Not only was I very scared but my dad also
knew how thunderstorms affected me. So, he came into my bedroom, stroked my
forehead and held my hand. From that moment I knew that no harm would come to
I think it is important to point out – although I am sure
you will already appreciate – as soon as I placed my hand into my dad’s large
hand the storm outside did not stop. It continued just as fiercely – but the
difference was that my father was with me and his presence gave me the courage
to endure the storm.
The verse above includes the words God spoke to
Joshua. Moses had died and Joshua was to become the leader of the Israelites
and take them to the Promised Land. Now Moses would have left some pretty big
shoes to fill there’s no doubt about that! Performing miracles before Pharaoh; leading
the Israelites out of slavery after parting the Red Sea; receiving the 10
commandments from God are just a few of the highlights. As we say, “How do you
follow that?” But there was no getting out of it for Joshua. He must have felt
daunted and anxious too. But he placed his hand in God’s and trusted in the
promise God made to him and went on to become one of the bible’s most famous