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Let God guide you

A devotion on God's assurances

“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
Be strong and courageous. God said these words to Joshua after Moses died and it was time for the Israelites to enter the Promised Land after wandering the desert for 40 years. God says this phrase to Joshua three times between verses 6 and 9.

If Joshua is anything like me, I’m sure God knew he needed to repeat it multiple times for Joshua’s heart to hear the truth in those words.
It was never God’s plan to have the Israelites wander the desert for 40 years after escaping Egypt. Moses led them to Canaan, the Promised Land, and sent spies into the land to see how easy it would be to take over. All but two came back afraid. The people are strong, the cities fortified and there are giants, they reported. But Caleb and Joshua trusted God and said they should go immediately and overtake the land God had given them.

But the people would not listen. They turned away in unbelief.
As a result, they wandered the desert for 40 years until the generation that did not trust God had died … all except Joshua and Caleb. The Bible doesn’t tell us how Joshua was feeling in this moment of being appointed the new leader of the Israelites and the one responsible for finally leading the people into the Promised Land, but I can only assume he needed the reassurance God was offering for God to have said it three times: “Be strong and courageous … for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Sometimes, parenting can feel like wandering in the desert for 40 years with no sight of the Promised Land. Whether you are parenting biological or foster children, it is exhausting and can sometimes feel lonely.
But God not only gave us the assurance, like he did with Joshua, to be strong and courageous. He gave us the road map for success.
In Joshua 1:8, God says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” 
The bottom line: Life is messy. Parenting is hard. And it can all be very overwhelming. But even in the hard, if we keep our focus on God and have his truths guide us through everything we do, we will be successful. He will walk us through whatever messy, overwhelming situation we are going through.
Be strong and courageous, friend! God is with you!
Written by Aimee Freston, a Buckner foster parent, who currently feels like she is wandering the parental desert and almost cried when her pastor taught from these verses at church last week.

Find out more about National Foster Care Month.

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