The Assurance of His Presence
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.
As God prepared Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, Joshua faced many unfamiliar challenges: leadership (for Moses had recently died), and entering a foreign land to name but two. Just as it was with Joshua, in our everyday lives it is not easy to step out of our comfort zones into unknown territory and face previously non-experienced challenges. It can feel intimidating, isolating, and even terrifying. It can seem futile to try and succeed at new things, with the fear of failure looming over the inexperienced darkness. This is how I imagined Joshua felt, for I have also felt this way.
This past April vacation, as I prepared to depart for the first time on the youth service project to Santa Fe, New Mexico, I was filled with uncertainties and fears. But once in New Mexico, I stood atop a great mountain surrounded by my caring friends, peers, and mentors, and saw the great desert plains, the wind blowing small pebbles of the sheer cliff faces, and the gleaming sun seeming to give life to everything, even the dry desert trees. It all embodied for me the empowerment of God’s ever stretched presence. This experience was the closest I have ever felt to not only nature, but also to God, not due solely to the majestic scenery, but because of the reassurance it gave me for the entirety of the trip. It made me realize, all of this around me, this beauty, is God’s doing, and He is always with me.
Just as God’s presence was reassuring to the will of Joshua, the assurance of God’s presence bestows the courage upon me to step into the unknown and overcome the challenges accompanied with it. With this in mind, I accepted the call to be on the Village Church’s Senior Pastor Search Committee. It would prove to be a challenge like none other I have experienced before. Yet starting from our first meeting, along with the reassurance I receive from the companionship and compassion of the other members, I feel the presence of God not only empowering myself with courage, but also directing the entire committee in our goal to match Village Church with a new Senior Pastor.
Finally, when I was asked to write this devotional, I had no idea what a devotional even was! And yet, I knew that approaching this challenge filled with uncertainty, I would be able to be guided through it by the light of God’s presence.
Prayer: God, remind us of your presence so that we may step out of your comfort zone and experience new things, and face newer and harder challenges. Amen.