Thursday, October 12, 2023

Are You Facing Hard Things?


By: Donna Bucher

This week I had the pleasure of talking with two colleagues who recently experienced unexpected changes in their lives. During the conversation we laughed at the thought of "unexpected" changes, as life never promises us the status quo; quite the contrary is often true.


One colleague faces a challenging health issue with her spouse and the other faces challenging scheduling issues with her children's schooling, extra-curricular activities, and tutoring. Both were truly struggling with accepting and navigating their current realities.


Two things struck me during our conversation. The first was an immediate comparison of the level of hardship experienced by the one with the scheduling issues. She "dismissed" her issues as inconsequential and "nothing" when compared to our colleague whose spouse was critically ill.


The second was the tendency to feel alone on the hard paths of life, holding the pressure of the outcome in our own hands.


Pondering this conversation in light of a recent memory verse, from Joshua 1:9gave me much for quiet meditation and instruction on facing the hard things before me. Consider God's words to Joshua as he faced the hardship of leading the Israelites into the promised land after Moses' death:

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

I memorized this promise long ago and often recite it when facing trials. The promise, like all of God's promises offers comfort in the reading, but how do we live this promise? It's not only hard, but at times seemingly impossible.


I approach verses like this with timidity. This is God speaking directly to Joshua, and He starts with "Have I not commanded thee?" I hear the booming voice of my father ordering me to obey.


There is, however, a nuance to the Hebrew verb "tsavah" used here. It means "to command" as we understand it, but it gives the deeper understanding, that God is appointing Joshua to do a hard thing, for which God has not only provided everything Joshua needs but will go with him! It implies a "finished" task.


God Asks You to Do Hard Things

This verse reminds you; God will appoint you to do hard things.

You must face the hard things appointed for you bravely and courageously, without fear or anxiety and without overwhelm.

How Can I Face Hard Things as God Instructs?

You can face the hard things God appoints for you to do bravely and courageously, without fear, anxiety or overwhelm by remembering the truth of Joshua 1:9 and Deuteronomy 31:6.  God has already supplied everything you need AND He will be with you the entire time!


God Actually Does Hard Things Through YOU

Meditating on Joshua 1:9 opened my eyes to the fact that even though God appoints hard things for me to do, HE is the One doing them through me.


This truth dissipates fear, anxiety, or overwhelm. I need not compare or dismiss the hard things before me because God chose them specifically for ME.


 I am not alone nor am I responsible for the outcomes for God already ordained them.


The best part? God promised He will be with me the entire time.


Yes, God chose you to do hard things; you can do the hard things in front of you today bravely without fear, anxiety or overwhelm because God has provided everything you need and will be with you the entire time; you will never be alone. You are held in every hard place by the Lord your God!


When you face hard things and feel lost, afraid, or overwhelmed, pray this prayer:


"Father, I thank you for the hard thing you have chosen me to do. I thank you for providing everything I need in this moment as I face what seems like a mountain before me. I confess right now I feel afraid, anxious, overwhelmed and alone: I cannot do this in my own strength. Please fill me with your strength, courage, and wisdom to move forward trusting your plan for me. Thank you for your constant Presence with me, let me feel your embrace and know that I am held today. Amen."


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