After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.Joshua 1:1-3 (ESV)
Do you ever feel a little bit bad for Joshua? I mean, can you even imagine being the guy who follows the act of Moses? Moses. THE Moses. He brought the people out of Egypt! He parted the Red Sea! Those are the shoes Joshua has to fill. It is no wonder Yahweh says to him multiple times, “Be strong and courageous!” (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9, 18). Moses dies, and God immediately turns to Joshua and says, “You’re up!”
I often feel like Joshua must have felt. I feel like I’m walking in shoes far too big for me to fill. The weight of the souls in my care feels like more than I can really bear. I’m supposed to be shaping eight everlasting souls! That doesn’t even take into account the impossible amount of laundry, dishes, and never-ending cooking I have to accomplish. Add to that their entire education since I’m a homeschool mom, and this task is too big! I know I can’t be the only one who sometimes thinks, “Who thought it was a good idea to make me their mom?!” I feel like a little guy plodding along where giants should be running.
And here is the thing: These feelings are completely correct. Joshua had no power in himself to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land and into the victory God had promised. Joshua had no way of fulfilling that promise himself. What he did have was Yahweh. How could Joshua fill these massive shoes and walk straight into the land of giants? How could he have courage with such a big task? “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 1:9, ESV). Joshua could only accomplish what he was called to do because of Yahweh. He could only lead the people to the Promised Land and victory because Yahweh was with him.
The shoes really are too big. But the secret is that I’m not really meant to fill them. I’m meant to walk with Yahweh as He shapes their souls. He’ll give me the strength and courage I need for the task. He will not abandon me in what He has called me to do. The task isn’t easy. It does take courage. But the Lord is there. So be strong and courageous as you step out into the shoes that are too big to fill, because God is with you.