Light for April
“The Lord, himself, goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
At this point in my “Light” journey for the year, I’m surprised by nothing that the Lord teaches me so when this verse from Deuteronomy came up as the one I chose last year for this month I had a bit of an “I see you God” moment. One of the most amazing things about the Bible is that it is LIVING. The truth of the Word was written for a historical time and place but it was also written for the eternity of believers reading it. So yes, this moment in Deuteronomy was written for the Israelites as they were about to enter the Promised Land. These words were spoken by Moses at the end of his life as Joshua is about to take control of the leadership of the people of God. Multiple times in this passage Moses reminds the Israelites to not be afraid because the Lord is going with them into this unknown and scary situation. This is a major moment in the journey of these people but it’s a major moment for us as well.
Sitting here in the midst of the insanity that 2020 has become, these words still speak truth and when I was praying over what verses I should pick last year I know the Lord led me to verses that would speak truth to me at the exact moment that I needed it…that includes this moment. And here’s the thing, if you are reading this, you can rest assured that this is the truth the Lord has intentionally meant for you as well.
As a card carrying control freak, moments like what we are currently facing stress me out because I find comfort in the known and that is just not possible at this moment. I like to have a clear plan with clear steps for every aspect of my life and while that is not 100% possible in the best of times I can at least pretend I have control but right now we have few knowns. From job security to toilet paper, we are facing a vast sea of uncertainties and for many of us fear comes in these moments. So, I’m asking you to let Deuteronomy remind you, as it has me, of a small handful of things in which you DO have assurance.
Covid-19 did not take the Father by surprise. It clearly says He went before the Israelites into the Promised Land and He goes before us as well. Not to get too deep in the theology but as Creator, God exists outside of time, meaning there is not a moment you will come to in your life that He is not already in. That’s mind blowing but also reassuring.
You are not alone. This concept is repeated over and over throughout the Old and New Testament and as believers we have the Holy Spirit in us and Christ to intercede to the Father for us. Once again, there’s not a moment of your life when He’s not there.
He is faithful and won’t leave you. It’s not like He was in the beginning of this illness but as the moments get dark and overwhelming He’s going to peace out. He walks with us in the midst of our worst moments. Might I suggest reading Psalm 23 as a great reminder of how we can walk hand in hand with the Father in our darkest moments.
We don’t have to be afraid or discouraged. I don’t think this was said flippantly and as I mentioned earlier, this statement is made several times in this one passage, not to mention throughout the Bible. It’s natural to feel apprehensive when we face unknowns. We live in a fallen and broken world where sin and its consequences run rampant but I think there is a difference between concern and letting fear rob you of your joy. I have friends who are working in the medical field, friends losing jobs, students who need physical school to meet some pretty basic needs and loved ones considered “high risk”. I would be crazy and lying to say I didn’t have concerns but I bring those concerns to my Father and ask for wisdom in the midst of this trying time. I’ve also been asking for peace for myself and those I love. I know I’ve said it before but the old Vacation Bible School classic, “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart”, speaks truth when it talks about the “peace that passes understanding”. The Lord can literally provide a peace that can’t be explained and joy that can’t be shaken in the midst of any circumstance.
So, as we continue to face the unknown, I pray that you will let the Lord surround you with the peace only He can provide and the joy that comes with being held by your Heavenly Father.