Do You Feel Like You’re Falling?
by: Erin Warren | March 16, 2017
“I wish this wasn’t happening to me,” my sweet seven-year old son said, his big blue eyes welling with tears. He is sick this week, and it wasn’t fun. Wednesday, after sleeping over 13 hours, he woke up and asked me to carry him downstairs.
As I balanced long legs and arms and carried him, his pillow and his comforting fuzzy blanket carefully down the stairs, he startled a little. He felt like he was falling.
“It’s ok; I got you. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but I got you,” I said without thinking. Immediately, God whispered that in my heart too.
“Erin, even though you feel like you’re falling, trust me. I got you.”
I’d be willing to bet you’ve felt like your falling at some point too. The Israelites certainly did. In Deuteronomy 31, Moses tells the people of Israel that after leading them out of slavery in Egypt and 40 years around the wilderness, he won’t be leading them any longer. Instead, Moses (with God’s guidance) calls forth Joshua, a younger leader, and gives him charge in front of everyone. Moses was 120 years old; many scholars think Joshua would have been about 60. They knew they were about to fight enemy after enemy to claim the Promised Land, and I bet the Israelites felt like they were falling. But Joshua had been chosen by God and trained by Moses. The words that Moses speaks to the Israelites in this moment are among my favorite in the entire Bible:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Then Moses has Joshua join him before all of the Israelites and speaks directly to him:
“Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. 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 31:7b-8
There’s a subtle difference. In verse 6, he says do not be in dread. The Greek word for dread (or terrified in some translations) means “to tremble with fear,” but in verse 8, he says don’t be dismayed (or discouraged in some translations). That Greek word means “to be broken down with fear.”
I think Israel may have felt scared, but I bet Joshua was downright terrified! I don’t know what’s making you feel like you’re falling today, but here’s what I do know: whether you are in dread or downright broken down with fear, God is with you. And even more than that, He goes before you too. He knows what tomorrow holds. He isn’t going to leave you or forsake you. That’s a promise. Don’t be afraid. Instead, be strong and courageous. He’s got you.