It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
One of the things I have always struggled with is walking into a crowd of people I do not know. Be it a workshop, a concert, or a popular restaurant, I don’t want to walk in by myself. I prefer to have someone else with me. One time, after we had just moved to a new city and had scoped out a new church, one of the women’s leaders approached me to come on their annual retreat. I knew it would be a good way to get to know people, and not having any friends yet, I said yes. I got the directions and paid my money.
The night before, the clenching in my stomach began. I fought panic as I drove the hour to the camp where it was being held. Three times I almost turned back. But a granule of hope kept my car in the right direction. These were Christian women. I would be accepted. I would make friends. I did. The weekend was wonderful. We all grew in Christ and bonded with each other. I had a great time laughing, crying and eating way too much.
God had prepared the way. He was in the midst of the whole weekend. Just as He was for Joshua and the Israelites entering into a strange land. But it was a journey where God’s footprints already lay. He knew ahead of time the dangers, the heartaches, the joys and the challenges that lay ahead on this path for His children. In this passage from Deuteronomy, Moses reminds Joshua that as long as they follow where God leads, He won’t forsake them. He will be there in the midst.
Down my life journey I can have that confidence as well. So can you. As Paul said, if God is for us, who can stand against us? He knows the path because He created it. How wonderful to have Him walking right by our side in times of peace, and in times of possible danger, have Him move ahead and scope it out. If you are entering into an unknown – be it a new job, motherhood, empty nesting, marriage, divorce or life after losing a parent or a spouse, don’t despair. You are not alone. If you don’t feel God beside you, have confidence it is because He is going before you. Don’t be dismayed. He has not left you.