What’s new? I don’t ask that question to pass the time with small talk. I mean, what are you dealing with that is terrifyingly new? Are you starting a new job or a new school? Are you moving to a new city or considering a new career? Are you at a new stage of life as a first-time dad with bags under his eyes or a first-time widow crying in an old bed that suddenly seems too big?
New is scary. Uncertain. Faith testing. Anxiety inducing. But that’s why I love Joshua chapter 1. These words were written when God’s people were about to enter a new land (Canaan) under the leadership of a new man (Joshua). As the people looked across the Jordan River to the towering walls of Jericho, you can just imagine the “news” that shook their hearts.
No wonder God repeated himself. “I will be with you,” he promised Joshua. “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” God said a sentence later (verse 5). One paragraph after that, God promised, “The Lord your God will be with you” (verse 9). Before the end of the chapter, we read it again, “The Lord your God be with you” (verse 17).
The repetition is God’s reminder that what we need when things are new is something old. Rather, Someone old. Ancient. Eternal. Trustworthy. Reliable. The God who, in olden times, made plans to be in total control of what seems so new to us. So when your “news” shakes you, run to the God who is eternal. Thankfully, you don’t have to run far. He is with you always.