Did you know there was a day when the sun stood still?
Ever since my first-born was just a tiny kicking blob on an ultrasound, I’ve debated about his life verse. There’s so many compelling nuggets in Scripture that could ennoble him to live a faith-filled life… but I was always stuck on the cliché, oh-so-common verse in Joshua: “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” (1:9).
Shouldn’t I be more creative though? This verse was announced at my college graduation ceremony, screen-printed on the back of my volleyball warm-up tee, etched into half of the mugs in my cupboard, and at the risk of sounding melodramatic, it’s splashed across every other Christian trinket you could possibly find around the globe.
But. Even so. I’m convicted with the thought that its over-use shouldn’t diminish the potency of what this verse delivers. Because there’s power among these words. So much strength to draw from. And it introduces a character in the Bible with such sure faith—exactly what I hope for in my son.
So yes, I’m stuck on that man Joshua. The one with the audacious faith that made the sun stand still. And I’m talking literally. Joshua needed more time to defeat his enemies, but in order to do that, he needed daylight. So, when evening hours hit and the sun started to dip down, Joshua very simply asked God to pause it from falling further. To freeze time for His people. Who would even think to pray that prayer? To believe that God will literally stop the world for him? Stop the scientific order that faithfully repeats itself like clockwork day-in and day-out? Joshua. And God gave him exactly what he asked for.
Joshua was also the one that God chose to lead the Israelites into the promised land. Before they could get there though, they found themselves shaking in their boots facing a barred-up city with intimidating walls as high as they could see. How could they get around? God didn’t send flaming arrows to Joshua’s aide, nor an earthquake to crumble the obstacle down. Instead, he told Joshua to silently walk around the walls 6 times in 6 days. And on the 7th, he’d see a miracle. And guess what? He did.
So, Joshua 1:9 has been chosen for my now sweet toddler.
And as I come across this verse (inevitably) at a Christian event, sermon, or bookstore, I’m reminded of this prayer for my son. And the wheels keep spinning, and I keep thinking, what if we all made Joshua 1:9 our life verse? What if those who call themselves believers also make this verse their focal point? The heartbeat of their faith? The command that echoes deep within our core?
What would this world look like if we all lived out of a faith just as audacious as this man Joshua? That we would ask Jesus for our own suns to stand still? That we would know just how ready He is to act for us if we would just be bold enough to ask, not just for a good morning or a better tomorrow, but for the impossible?
That when the walls of life seem impossibly high and insurmountable, we wouldn’t give up hoping and stop on 6? But rather, hold strong to God’s character and see His miracles through. As the walls crash around us and we stand tall praising God among the ruins of our challenges, then, just maybe, we would bear witness to the One who never disappoints, and the world couldn’t help but take notice.
As I watch my toddler play and dream dreams for his future, I truly believe he is here to make a sun-stand-still-size difference, and if I have big dreams for him, I can’t imagine the puffy, grandeur plans our God has for our lives too. As His people, let’s be strong and courageous enough to find out. Instead of giving into fear or discouragement, let’s instead ask the Lord for the unthinkable. And let’s be the Joshua’s of our day, moving forward in the confidence that God is with us wherever we go—when we do, be ready to see the sun stand still in our lives today as well.
Where may God be calling you to set fear aside and replace it with His strength and courage?