Be Strong and Courageous!

Good morning, universe!

It is Friday, yet another meaningless title associated with the days that have flown by these past weeks as a majority of us watch the calendar turn itself from within our homes, and the panic (generally) unfolds outside our walls. But I’m not here to talk about that today. Today, I want to talk about all the incorrect ways I’ve responded during this interesting time.

I just wrapped up my 10th week of working from home, carving out the corner of our kitchen counter for several hours a day, just in time to clean it off and make room for dinner at night. I am not terribly thrilled with my circumstances. Not at all, actually (so there’s problem one).

Today is short and sweet, and if you guys are anything like me, you’re mentally cracking on the edges and one bad look away from losing your freaking mind. This year completely sucks. Drama, shattered nerves, angst – the list goes on and on and on and on and on. However…

Joshua 1:9 very clearly gives us direction in what we should be and how we should approach all aspects of life. Granted, it’s a strong case of easier said than done, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Primarily, this is not a suggestion. We are commanded. Commanded to be strong and commanded to be courageous. The hard part about this is that it is impossible to be strong and courageous constantly, and more specifically, impossible with reliance solely on ourselves. There is only one infinitely strong and all-knowing being who is the sovereign King over the universe – and He has a perfect plan. The suffering and yuck and the trials and thorns and tribulations are all planned and accounted for. What a brutal realization, and yet we can find comfort knowing that the Lord is in control!

Second, we are told not to be afraid or discouraged. Again, not sure about all you, but I’ve pretty much spent 90% of my time the past 10 weeks feeling down, beaten, depressed – may have even thrown a pity party or two. Granted, it’s been lousy. As lousy as some? No, definitely not. But this year is leaving its mark on us and our family a little harsher than any of us were expecting. And yet, at the end of it all, we know there is a point and purpose. It sure as heck doesn’t feel like it at the time, but if we can survive 2020, what rewards will we reap from those experiences as we head into 2021?

Third, we have no need for fear or discouragement because we have the Lord’s presence with us at all times – especially during the bad – He is the one orchestrating it all. Who better to understand our hurts and our needs and our desires than the one who giveth and the one who taketh away? I’ll be the first to admit I need this reminder the most. It’s so easy to get bogged down by the choking fear, and yet it is all so unnecessary.

In closing… Colossians 3:12-15

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

And on that heavyish note, I recommend checking out this video. Fun little escape project I had away from the grind of quarantine for those fans of The Mandalorian (and Baby Yoda)! Probably one of my more positive experiences too :D There is a silver lining, and we should be encouraged by that and find strength. There is no need for fear or discouragement because the ever-present God is with us and loves us and has a wonderfully perfect plan. And with that – let’s weekend.


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