An Essential Promise.

Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, You will restore my soul. Psalm 71:20

That common response, “Put your big girl/boy pants on and get going.”

😏  🤨  😔

I’ve said it to others and others have said to me.

Life hits hard. And God is not unaware:

You have made me see troubles, many and bitter…Psalm 71:20 (NIV)

But to indulge in grief or even mere disappointment beyond reason is counter productive. It gives the enemy that golden opportunity he seeks to take me captive.

After the death of Moses, Joshua was next up to lead God’s people into the Promised Land.

There’s no record of how or if Joshua grieved, but God basically had him step up and carry on.

In essence, God says, “Joshua, put on your big boy tunic, strap on those sandals, and let’s get moving.”

Makes me think of a scene in the movie Top Gun where Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) lost his buddy and Radar Interceptor, Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards) after a failed ejection following unrecoverable tailspin. Justifiable or not, Maverick blames himself for the loss and lets his grief immobilize him.

Unable to fly. Grounded by fear and shame.

After allowing ample time to grieve, his naval commanders made strategic moves to get Maverick back in the air as soon as possible. Because the state of immobility would lead to ruin, the loss of a mighty good Navy pilot.

Unlike the fictional story in Top Gun, Moses’ death was the result of natural causes, leaving Joshua free from the burden of feeling responsible. Either way, God called him to take next steps in the absence of Israelites iconic leader.

In similar ways God does this with me.

I’ve experienced the death of dreams.

The death of expectations.

The death of financial security.

The death of healthy vision. (Can’t even be sure I spelled that right 🤓)

The death of friendships.

And, well, the death of loved ones.

You have made me see troubles, many and bitter…Psalm 71:20 (NIV)

But at the proper time, God calls me to press on.

In Joshua’s case, God is well aware of the facts…

Moses My servant is dead (vs 2). 

And then He gets down to business.

Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites. (vs 2)

A charge packed with challenge, God also sweetly offers the reassurance of His guidance through it all.

I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Joshua 1::2-3 (NIV)

What if the Israelites looked to their new shepherd but found him doubled over, inconsolable, and unable to put one foot in front of the other?

Good and thorough grief is essential. Therapeutic. And then I must move on. 

The assurance of God’s restoration empowers me to put on my big girl pants, even in the midst of hardship.

Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, You will restore my soul. Psalm 71:20

How has He reassured and restored you in times of trouble? I’d love to hear about it. 😊

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