Recently, I have joined some groups for caregivers. They have all kinds of people in them…with all kinds of worldviews. I find that right now, I can’t stay there very long at a time. With the advent of the COVID virus, the death rate in these groups has climbed. It has been a very sad place to be. Add to this, the fact that the family can’t visit the person in their final days. It is agonizing for all whether the person is dying from COVID complications or simply from chronic health issues they have already had. It is sad enough to lose family members that you hope to see again in heaven, but not all these people have this belief and comfort. Now you know why it is very sad.
I can’t imagine facing this sad situation without the knowledge that our heavenly Father is present with us and our family member. It isn’t wishful thinking or sugary sentimentalism. It is based on GOD’s promises to be with His people starting way back thousands of years ago.
Our church is starting a series on the book of Joshua titled Certain Promises for Uncertain People. How appropriate for these days! For the first week of the study, we were reminded that GOD is with us wherever we go if we are the people of GOD.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth,
but you shall meditate on it day and night,
so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.
For then you will make your way prosperous,
and then you will have good success.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:8-9 ESV
The promise here is that He is with us wherever we go. He is speaking to the people of GOD, not just anyone. For that reason, we don’t need to be afraid. We can be strong and courageous. We have every resource we need available through Christ, right with us wherever we are! Of course, there will be times when our initial response will be to fear, but in light of this truth, we realize that there is no need to be afraid. We have every reason to be brave if our heavenly Father is with us, able to help us.
I’m told that courage is not the absence of fear, but rather it is moving forward despite fear, to do what needs to be done. We are only able to do that when we know we have the strength of GOD at our disposal.
Why am I talking about this to my group of people who often feel invisible? Who long for the embrace of GOD and others when they begin to lose heart?
Because we need to know this truth: if you are a child of GOD, He is with you wherever you are! There is not a place you can go that you can get away from Him.
I am reminded of this part of Psalm 139…an awesome Psalm to memorize!
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
Psalm 139:7-12 ESV
The final portion I want to share today is also from Joshua. It is from the end of Joshua’s life. He served along with Moses, then He led Israel for many years and at the end of that time, this is what he said:
“And now I am about to go the way of all the earth,
and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you,
that not one word has failed of all the good things
that the Lord your God promised concerning you.
All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.
Joshua 23:14 ESV
Action Step: Think of the many promises of GOD. Write down 5 that you have needed just this week. Remind yourself of them. Write them down, preferably with the accompanying Scripture so you can remember the context of the promise. Blessings.