It seems only fitting and logical to read the books of Exodus and Joshua while living in Egypt; so I am. It is an amazing experience following Moses and the Israelites from Pithom to Rameses, crossing the Red Sea, thirsting at the waters of Mara, stopping at the twelve springs at Elim, wandering and meandering towards Mount Sinai, and ending up at Jericho before entering the Promised Land.
We live very close to the Nile River and have visited Alexandria, not so far from the ancient store cities of Pithom and Rameses. Over Christmas Break we visited the Pyramids at Giza and the temples and tombs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens in modern day Luxor (ancient Thebes). During Spring Break we will visit the Red Sea, though not in either of the areas that the Israelites likely crossed it, but I am looking forward to staring out across its shores and imagining what it must have been like to walk into that Sea as on dry land.
Before we adopted our children, God sent me to the book of Joshua. I’ve recently been studying this book again, and have discovered many helpful truths on our road to Red Sea deliverance and healing. Because moving to Egypt has entailed homeschooling and since homeschooling has led to PTSD and major anxiety and panic attacks this year, I have been struggling with how to overcome anxiety in my life.
I have used scripture meditation, soothing music that reminds me to trust God, scripture memory and other means of taking my thoughts captive to soothe my anxious heart.
This week I have been reminded of another way; a lesson Joshua learned on the cusp of entering the Promised Land. I love that the Bible is alive and that no matter how many times I read the same book within its pages, I still learn.
While reading Joshua 5 and my First 5 (Proverbs 31 Ministries) devotion “The Best Battle Plan” Lisa TerKeurst reminds me that Joshua’s question to the Angel of the Lord’s armies, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” was at the heart of not only his anxiety but mine as well. She says that Joshua is seeking here, affirmation from God and perhaps even direction for the battle ahead. What he gets is not that affirmation, but rather a command to remove his sandals and worship. God knows what Joshua actually needed to hear and in His wisdom reminds Joshua of what that is. Through his story, He does that for me too.
This resonates so deeply with my spirit and soothes my soul as I have begun to practice worship when anxiety tries to overtake me. I already know the answer to Joshua’s question; The Lord is always for me. I don’t need to ask. But when doubt surfaces, the answer is not about me, it is about Him. Worship God, His Spirit says, for in this you will know the answer to every question.