last year, i remember thinking [and saying aloud] that i wanted to start each year by reading the book of joshua in my devo time. i couldn't remember why i thought that, but i know i love the book, so i thought it was just because it was one of my faves.... then as i started reading it again, a lightbulb went off and i remembered exactly why i wanted to start off every year with this book...
the first chapter is short and sweet, basically God's telling joshua [and the israelites] to be brave, be courageous, and do not fear what's ahead because He has been with them and will continue to be with them and go before them. hello! that's exactly what i needed to hear for the start of the year!!
for someone who easily slips into anxiety and a headful of all the bad 'what-ifs', this first chapter held me by the shoulders and looked me straight in the eyes - BE BRAVE. I WON'T LEAVE YOU.
i picture myself gripping handfuls of heavy, blackened fear - fear of failing, fear of losing someone i love, fear of finances, etc etc - without any room for God's hand. He'll never force me to let go of what's in my hands, He'll never force surrender - it has to be my choice, and i can only reach for His hand when i've let go of fear. once i allow Him to take my hand, His cleansing grace and refreshing love washes away the stains of all my anxiety.
it's not easy, sometimes it's impossible to let go of our anxiety when we've let it camp out in our heads and hearts for so long, but the beauty of the gospel is that all we need to do is bring it to Him, time and time again. He doesn't get tired of us bringing our burdens to Him, even if it's the same burden, same struggle over and over again. the main thing is that we're bringing it to Him. what a lovely thing to remember.
He's got good things ahead friends, let's be courageous and walk in them!