Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. -Joshua 1:9
Dear members and friends,
Starting something new in the place where you are a stranger is an incredibly challenging task. I know this first hand because I am a first-generation immigrant who came to the USA at the age of 23. I came with complete uncertainty of the future and how life that might unfold ahead of me. Looking back, I am amazed that I had the courage to embark on such a journey in a foreign country with an unfamiliar language. Therefore, whenever I read Joshua chapter 1, I cannot help but to be deeply sympathetic. Joshua is about to embark on a journey into the land of Canaan leading all of the Israelites to fulfill a God-promised mission. God appeared to Joshua and ordered him to complete the journey that had been initiated by Moses. And, to a fearfully trembling Joshua, God assured divine guidance by saying, “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
God did not appear to me as He did to Joshua. But looking back, I acknowledge the presence of the Lord in almost every step that I took in my 27-year journey through America. The amazing courage that I felt at times was indeed the assured presence of the Lord indicating that I was on the right track. We just heard good news from the mayor of San Francisco that we are about to go back to the normal life we enjoyed before the pandemic. Yet, there still is a deep degree of fear and uncertainty on how the future will unfold. Certainly, as long as we live on earth, fear and uncertainty will accompany us no matter where we are, simply because life itself is full of uncertain events. However, when we listen very carefully, there is a whispering voice of God telling us, “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
My friend and family in God, let us trust in the Lord who is promising to be present on our journey, wherever we go!
Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee