Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading the Old Testament account of the journeys of God’s children as they made their way from captivity in Egypt, across the years of their trek through the Red Sea, enemy territory and seemingly endless desert. Now, Moses is facing death and he is taking another long stab at reminding the people of God’s instructions, of their rebellion, his anger at them (and the consequent results to him) and finally, of more reminders of their role in possessing the land God promised them. “God promised it to you,” he told them. “He has protected you from enemies that were far too strong for you to combat in your strength. Now, go in and possess the land.”
I’ve read that portion countless times during my lifetime, but contemplating yet another day of isolation and mask-wearing, I realized how many times I’ve failed to possess His promise of peace and protection, no matter what may transpire and what I may face. The secret isn’t in God’s word, for that never fails; rather, the secret lies in my willingness to possess the promise.
Even beyond physical protection, is God’s promise to grant peace when we’re willing to forgive those who have hurt us, or others to forgive us when we’ve hurt them. It’s not my responsibility to make decisions for others but it sure is mine to make sure I do the right thing. As we grow in our Christian faith, our ability to rest in and claim those promises grows.
“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 56:3,4)
Let’s remember: God’s promises are infallible, possessing them is our responsibility.