I’m struggling guys. Like really struggling. Over the next six weeks, we are traveling quite a bit and our go to move is to call a lovely friend to come over and house sit—it’s a perfect solution that always works so I was knocked for a loop when our daughter suggested an alternative plan. “What if Ranger stays with me?” she asked.
Ranger is the happiest, never met a stranger, golden retriever who knows that people exist simply for him. The moment he sees you, he will smile, wag his tail and place his nose under your hand for a rub. It’s really fun watching him do this to the UPS driver WHILE he is still holding a package.
Dear daughter sold this proposal hard, and in a weak moment, we agreed. It hasn’t even started yet and we are already feeling a bit mopey about coming home from a trip and not having Mr. Ranger literally jumping all fours off the ground in excitement over seeing us. He’s our favorite hype guy.
So, how am I going to make it the next six weeks without Ranger? I am going to turn to the OG. The Original. The CREATOR of all hype.
I learned early on that when God wants to make a point He repeats Himself over and over again—you know, so we don’t miss it. One of His favorites to play on repeat lines is, “You are worthy and capable of so much because I am always with you. You are mine.”
We start with that reminder by looking at Joshua. Moses is the leader they have known. The Lord used him to lead them from captivity and now he is passing on the mantle. It’s a slightly overwhelming responsibility to have a whole nation’s care passed unto you when you don’t even have an actual land yet to call your own. What you have is a promise…
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all of Israel, “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 nor forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.“ Deuteronomy 31:6-8
These words are repeated over and over again as Joshua takes over leadership and even facies the baddies of Jericho armed with trumpets, the Ark of the Covenant and the Lord. As the walls crumbled down, promises was fulfilled right before their eyes.
“He will not leave you or forsake you.”
In case we forget, we hear it again in 1 Chronicles 28:20, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 1 Kings 8:57, Deuteronomy 4:31, Joshua 1:5, and again in Joshua 1:9, Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20 and many, many more.
“You can do it. I’m here to hold your hand. You are never alone,” the Lord quietly whispers to you. He also looks at you and cheers you on staying, “Be strong and courageous!” He is YOUR hype man.
So, do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my right hand. “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:10-13
As I am typing these words, I feel like the Lord is just sitting there laughing at me. “Sweet girl,” he is laughing. “You think Ranger can lighten your heart with his antics. How much more joy do you think I will bring you in the next six weeks. Quit looking for substitutes for the real thing.”
So, here’s to my pursuit of the OG hype man. Who else wants to lean in to the One who will never leave us or forsake us?