Us, the next generation…

Joshua 1:9 “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Meditation: Joshua was God’s chosen successor after Moses died. He was the next generation coming into leadership. The words to “be strong and courageous, to not be frightened or dismayed” sound very “manly”. Like a dying father telling his son to lead the family forward. And the son might think he has to deny himself all human feelings of dread or fear. However, coming into leadership can be frightening. Suddenly finding oneself in the position of being the one to speak in front of the crowd or to be the one others are looking to for guidance can be terrifying. As the former generation of leaders are leaving, a new generation needs to step up. The feeling of “the buck stops here” can induce sleepless nights and an overwhelming sense of responsibility. I think God knows this. The words above do not mean NOT to feel all of these feelings or to pretend leadership was easy. God’s words are meant as encouragement. As a promise rather than an expectation. And that promise is similar to Psalm 27: 10: “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close”. Spiritually this experience is about maturing in faith. It is the sometimes frightening and yet also exhilarating experience of letting go of one’s childhood faith. And then taking first steps of living into one’s maturing faith of adulthood. Outwardly this maturation often comes with loss and grief, with movement and change, and also new roles and responsibilities that invite us into our next phase in faith and in life.

Prayer: God, our inner child gets overwhelmed and frightened as our faith is being tested, stretched and put through maturation experiences. You know that. That is why you promise to be there, especially when we lose the generation before us. Thank you, that when life calls us to take adult positions and responsibilities, You will be there with us. Amen

Quote: “The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.”  – John C. Maxwell

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