Joshua 1:9 "Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
This verse was part of my daily reading the other morning as my husband, Andy, left to go to Rwanda for a fortnight. I was cheered and encouraged by this promise from God that He gave to Joshua and the Children of Israel before they entered the Promised Land. God would be with Andy too when he was far from home.
Twenty three years ago, a friend and I were about to embark on a trip to New Hampshire to spend the summer working at a children's camp. I was excited but also full of apprehension- I was only seventeen, had never been abroad or taken an aeroplane trip- and I had never been away from my family for more than a few days. My dad gave my friend and I the verse I have quoted above and it stayed in my heart and mind all summer and the summers that followed. I remember sitting in a service one night, and a wonderful peace ﬁlled my heart as the realisation dawned on me that even although I was thousands of miles from home, my loved ones and all that was familiar, God was still with me. It was a pivotal moment that helped me stand on my own two feet in terms of my faith in God. I can still feel something of the joy of that moment every time I think back on it.
God was with His people thousands of years ago; He was with me as a naïve teenager in a foreign land; He's with Andy and the team in Rwanda- and He promises to be with us today and always.