Being courageous in a fear-filled world.
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The number of coyotes and foxes have decreased in and around our neighborhood, which has allowed the rabbit population to increase. Such was not the case a few years ago.
We had a Japanese Chin, a small dog with a pug face. I took her for a walk on a pathway that leads to a community park. It was dark and the park was lit by a few pathway lights. I noticed a dog hanging out at the playground. Then I looked again. It was a coyote and it started following us. I guess it saw a meal on a rope.
I have not seen a coyote or a fox near our home for a couple of years. With the scarcity of predators, the rabbit population has exploded and they’re not frightened by much.
This rabbit sat in our flower bed while I added motor oil to my car. It stayed long enough for me to pull out my camera and take pictures of it. In fact, I took Ginger for a walk, passing near the rabbit, and it didn’t move.
I envy the rabbit. Both consciously and unconsciously, fear affects my decisions.
“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 New Living Translation
Joshua was at a crossroads in his life. Moses was dead and he was tasked with leading a group of former slaves who would soon become a nation. He had been groomed for this position for forty years and now it was time to step out of the shadow of Moses and become the leader God had prepared him to be.
He had reason to be afraid. He knew how stubborn the Israelites were, and how prone they were to complaining. “Be strong and courageous…the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
This promise to Joshua is ours through Jesus who said, “I am with you always, even to the end of history.” (Matthew 28:20). We might be leading little children and not a nation. We might be facilitating a cohort of fellow employees instead of running a massive corporation. In all circumstances of life, God is with us. We are not alone. We need not be afraid.
Text and picture copyright Douglas P Brauner