Be Strong and of Good Courage!

The wise, old leader looked about
The young and fledgling nation,
The people he had led would soon
Embark on a great mission.
This leader knew his days on earth
Were numbered, quickly fleeting,
He knew the battles they would face—
Temptations of retreating.
The realization of their hopes
And dreams spread out before them,
But such would not be theirs without
A struggle and invasion.
Much was uncertain in the thought
Of conquering their strangers,
And in what little they did know
Left sense of ominous danger.
This trusted leader knew that he
Would not be going with them,
Instead, the baton he must pass
To one whom God had chosen.
His young successor, Joshua,
Was next to take the lead.
With courage and a father’s care,
He charged him valiantly:
“Be strong and of good courage—“
The words echoed in his ear,
“The Lord thy God will go with you;
Be not dismayed, nor fear.”
Many battles fought and won
By Joshua’s army,
Were by their courage in the Lord—
They fought so valiantly.
Courage is not the absence of
All sorts of dread and fear;
Courage comes from a focus on
What’s greater than your fear.
Another solder, Joshua,
Once stood upon a hill,
Amidst a heated battle—
The foe he could not still.
To him the charge was given,
“Whatever you may do,
‘Give your life before the hill,’
“Don’t let them get through you.”
Five times the foe charged up the hill
Attempting their attack,
But every time, his fighting troops
Sent them repelling back.
Now his troops were almost out
Of all their ammunition,
And of three hundred, eighty men
Were left to keep the mission.
They huddled low behind the rocks,
Desiring reinforcement,
But no help came, despite his plea
To aid his regiment.
Just when they felt their very weakest,
The foe was lining up
With even more than all before…
But Joshua stood up.
His weary men looked up at him,
Waiting for instruction,
His thoughts raced with pounding heart
As he pondered his direction.
He couldn’t retreat {“…Give your life first…”}
This was the higher ground,
{“What’er you do, don’t lose the hill.”}
He heard the battle sound.
Perhaps, the whole entire war
Depended on his call;
If he should lose, the ones behind
Most certainly would fall.
The enemy ran up the hill
For one final attack,
“I might die now.” He thought, “But not
With a bullet in my back.”
“Fix bayonets! And do it now!”
He urged with courageous surge,
With his sword drawn he led his men,
“Charge! Charge! CHARGE!”
The enemy, confused, reeled back,
Threw down their weapons, fled.
This one man’s courage, with his men,
Great victory had led.
Is there a challenge in your life,
A mountain you must keep?
Are there “giants in the land”
That make you feel so weak?
Has the enemy advanced, though
You’re low on ammunition?
Do you feel you’re losing ground
In a dreadful situation?
Though uncertain you may be
Of coming future days,
And fear the hard decisions
That you may have to face.
Be strong and of good courage,
Fear not, nor be afraid;
The Lord thy God is with you,
The vict’ry He has made.

Copyright © Elisabeth Linzey 2015

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