I lit up my front door with a blue bulb this evening to recognize all those frontline workers who are doing tremendous work in these very difficult days. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine what many of them are going through as they serve others who are in need of care. But I want to applaud them for what they do and hope they know that we all appreciate them for it.
As I watch images from hospitals and see all the things medical staff do, I am impressed. Impressed at their professionalism, impressed at their skill, impressed with their bravery under such intense and hazardous conditions. In many of these situations, they have no idea what the outcome will be, for them, or for the patient that they are with (and these persons are counting on them). But they do it, and they do for the love of the work for which they have trained. They are truly strong and courageous in such difficult times.
Joshua was called upon to carry on the work of taking the people into the Promised Land after Moses died. He was given a daunting task to take them into this strange new land, and the people were counting on him to do so. As he was being instructed by God on where he was to go, reminding him that this land was promised to the people, and telling him that he would “not leave you or forsake you,” God said to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.”
“Be strong and courageous” against all the odds, not knowing what is ahead, but knowing that God will be there.
We are living in a very unusual time. We are being asked to work at home, stay at home, don’t venture out too much. People have lost jobs, businesses are closing all around us, and a sense of fear and anxiety grips our communities, our nation, our world. But this is not the time to cower or to give up to the fear. This is a time for all of us to be strong and courageous, especially those of us who minister to congregations. Our people are looking to us for hope, for certainty, and, most of all, for strength.
We need to live into these words first given to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.”