by Eli Alsop
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:9
I often find myself wondering, questioning, and worrying about my actions. “Did I do the right thing? Did I do something wrong?” When I ask those questions, I don’t take the time to think about God, and I try to figure everything out on my own and ignore what God has to offer me. When I heard my verse for the first time, I felt like it was very relatable and relevant to my own life.
My verse always applies to my life, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Whether in school, on the football field, at home, or anywhere else, I know that God is watching over me, giving me courage and strength so that I may not be discouraged.
As an athlete, I remember feeling nervous or even almost scared many times before games. I know that feeling is common, and some would say it is normal, but when I get these feelings, I take a moment to pray. I have a conversation with God and really try to connect with Him. This calms me down because I know God will watch over me and give me the strength and courage I need.
Let me give an example: It was the first football game of my high school years. It was an away game at Granite Hills, so our whole team took a bus up there. The bus ride was fun because I had my friends with me, and I wasn’t too worried about the game yet. But when we arrived and our team got ready to play, I started getting more nervous. Waiting on the sideline right before the game was so nerve-racking. The game was going to begin in about five minutes, so I knew I had to calm down. I took a knee and prayed. I talked with the Lord and prayed for protection and my well-being. This really helped calm me down before I went out on the field and played in my game.
I know that God has a plan for me. I recognize that I may not always put thought into His plan for me when I live my everyday life. I know that I need to pause and think about God and what He wants, not just what I want.
I know that God is my Father and Creator. He commands me and gives me courage and strength in my everyday life. No matter where I go, God is with me; guiding me and watching over me and my actions. With that in mind, I know that I should not be afraid or discouraged, no matter what obstacles come my way.
Dear God, I know that I sometimes try to take Your plans into my own hands. I pray that with Your help, I can recognize my mistakes and look to You for guidance, knowledge, courage, and strength. In Jesus’ name, Amen.