This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
Relate: At 13 Mary was too young to be on this voyage. In early August she, along with 149 others were packed like sardines into a boat only 100 feet long. For three months they crossed almost unknown waters to land on an almost unknown shore. Her father took sick on that voyage and died less than a month after landfall. Her mother died months later. Two of her friends also died that first year as did ten of the fourteen adult women. In the boat, none of that had happened yet. All of that and nearly sixty years of adventure still lay ahead. There were many famous and great men aboard the Mayflower. Many other pilgrims would follow on future boats, but Mary was the first. Maybe it was childlike excitement. Maybe it was simple faith or courage. Maybe she was impetuous. Whatever the reason, Mary Chilton was the first one to step out of the boat. Everyone else followed her.
For forty years Moses had led the people. For forty years, God provided manna every day. He sent quail, He drove out their enemies, He led them by a pillar of fire and cloud. But now it was time to cross over. Moses wasn’t coming. The manna wouldn’t be there. The pillar of fire had served its purpose. Joshua was to step into leadership in a time of transition. He was taking the reigns during the height of uncertainty. God was going to do something new. But it was still God who would be doing the doing. If only Joshua would be strong and courageous in his obedience.
React: Some of us are called to be leaders and the rest of us are called to… lead. Some are called to be Joshua’s who will usher in a victorious people who will take the land under the banner of the Almighty. Others of us are called to simply be the first out of the boat. What is your boat? What is mine? One of mine is a young girl named Satyavathi Sunkari. For nearly ten years now I’ve sponsoring her through World Vision for a few bucks a month. That small step ended up leading to a bigger one where I have now been working with refugee children directly for the past two years. Now one of the people in my Thursday small group is a full time employee from World Vision. For a friend it was leaving New Jersey to join with Convoy of Hope in Eastern Europe. Each of us has things God has called us to do. Each of us have unique talents and gifts that God can use in unique ways. Each of us are leaders if only we would step out of the boat. If what we are doing for God is easy and comfortable, then there is probably a whole lot more He is still calling us to do.
You have called me to so much more. You have not called me to this comfortable, easy life that I have been living. Help me to see when and where and how I am to step out of the boat. Help me to understand when, in love, it is time to start rocking it. Help me to have the strength and the courage to lead as You led… by serving others. Help me to be more like You.