I went for a run today. Don’t worry – this blog is not about running so keep reading. Anyways, I didn’t want to go. This is not unusual. There is typically a fair amount of self negotiation to get myself out the door. On this particular morning, I had even more excuses. None of my devices were ready to go for a run – all were either not charged or taking an update, including my phone. Running without them would be like running without legs or arms or feet. This is a runner’s dream excuse not to go for a run and moreover a great reason to crawl back into bed. After all, if I can’t measure my speed and distance or even get credit for my run, what’s the point? Right? I went anyway.
Unplugged. No tracking devices. No music.
Instead of listening to music, I prayed. I prayed for my family and friends, for those who I know are in so much pain and grief right now (and I seem to know ALOT of people in that category right now). If I had my devices, I would not have spent that time in prayer.
As I prayed, I listened to what God had to say. I listened and he reminded me of something I have been talking about for days – weeks even. Joshua.
Do you know the story of Joshua? Ok maybe not the whole story – just the beginning. Let me break it down for you.
Let me help you understand the significance of this. Moses was chosen by God to lead all of Israel out of slavery and into the promised land. Moses was a big deal. Moses was the Mockingjay, if you will – the leader of the revolution. People believed in him – he guided their lives. They trusted everything to him. Moses had been somewhat disappointing I am sure as they had been wandering for like 40 years, but Israel still loved and revered him as their fearless leader. Like I said, now Moses was dead.
Can you imagine the pain the nation was in? The weeping and wailing. The long quiet stares just wondering what is next. Their leader was gone. The one they thought would be with them forever. The one who knew where to go and how long to stay. They sat waiting I am sure as we often do when someone we love and hold dear dies. We wait for them to come home. Moses was not coming home.
Joshua was waiting.
Among those waiting was Joshua. He had been Moses’ right hand man and was no doubt present in some way when he passed. I imagine that the scene in Joshua 1 opens after the ceremonies have past. After the truth of what has happened has set in and Joshua is sitting, sad, and waiting. The Lord comes to him and says (and I am paraphrasing, obviously), “Sup brother. Sorry to hear your mentor died. Guess what – you get to replace him. I chose you to lead these people to the land I have promised. You got the job yo!”. (Joshua 1:1-6 – you should read it)
At this point, I am thinking Joshua was still in a bit of shock as I would be if the Lord spoke directly to me. The Lord continued and said (something like this), “So you got the directions I gave Moses right? Just follow those brother and you will get where I need you to go.” (Joshua 1:7-8)
Joshua must have still been hesitant or unsure or just plain sad because the scripture changes here. In verse 9, the verse many people quote in times of trouble and need, he says the same words he said two times in the verses before, but I think they have a different tone. A different meaning. It becomes emphatic, deliberate and I imagine even loud. The Lord says to Joshua, ” GET UP! ” (Imagine me with my arms in a wide pick up position, eyes bugging out, yelling this at you) “GET UP BROTHER! You have a job to do! You have the tools and equipment to get it done. GET UP and do it!” (Joshua 1:9)
This applies to us. Now. Right now.
We have a mission. We have the tools and equipment to get it done. We just have to get up. When its time to run, I have legs and feet and that is really the only thing I need. Those of us who are grieving – when a sufficient amount of time has passed and we have grieved, we have to get up. Those of us who are battling sin and shame – we have to get up. Those of us who are wanting to make changes in our lives like nutrition and exercise – GET UP!
Here’s the thing – we might get the courage today to get up. We might even stay up for a few days and really work on getting to that promised land. And then we may have a day where we fall, back into our grief. Back into the pit of despair. That’s ok. Just get up again. Keep getting up. Pray for God to change you and to help you get up everyday – but then GET UP.
What I want you to get from this:
Remember that you have a mission. There is something that you are supposed to do. You might not know what it is, but it exists and you are supposed to do it.
Remember that you already have the tools and equipment you need to accomplish your mission. To get done what God wants you to get done. To impact those you are meant to impact.