Rhoda Goremucheche is a global evaluation and research manager for program effectiveness for Habitat for Humanity International. She is based in Pretoria, South Africa. Read her Advent reflection below:
Joshua had a great task ahead of him, and God commanded him to be strong and courageous. It was not a suggestion. It was not an option. I am encouraged by how God repeated the command four times in this chapter of Joshua. I think God knew His servant might get overwhelmed by the importance and size of the work ahead of him and the opposition he would face.
At Habitat for Humanity, we, too, have a great task ahead of us. Just as with Joshua, being strong and courageous is not optional. Our vision and mission compel us to be courageous. Our commitment to the families and communities we partner with and serve demands courage. Now more than ever, we have no choice but to remain strong and courageous in our roles across the network, as individuals, as teams, in projects and programs, and in our bold global initiatives. Yes, we will get overwhelmed sometimes with circumstances like natural disasters, political instability and the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Disappointments will come, and our efforts may feel like a tiny drop in the ocean of desperation, marginalization and need. Yet we will remember that the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” That promise is alive and active for us too.
God commands us to be strong and courageous because He is with us in whatever we do, wherever we go. In our weakness, His strength is made perfect. He promised to help and support us — Psalm 20:2; Nehemiah 8:10. In the midst of difficulties, we need the courage to wait on Him. That does not mean we become idle and dismayed in the face of challenges or by looking at the sheer size of the housing deficit. We have to prayerfully and actively wait as we work, fully expecting God to show up.
As we celebrate this Advent season, I wonder what it would be like if we could wait with faithful expectation like Anna and Simeon in Luke 2:25-38? They waited for the Messiah for a long time. They waited in prayer, in fasting and in worship. Circumstances around them, the passage of time and the political environment did not discourage them. They both got to see Christ with their own eyes.
What is that we are waiting expectantly for God to do?
Our Father, we thank You that You are good. Always. Thank You for Your promises that are yes and amen through Christ unto Your glory. Everything that is good that we have accomplished through the Habitat ministry is because of You. In this Advent season, please teach us, remind us, show us how to be courageous and strong in You. We cannot stand in our own strength, and we ask that You help us to embrace Your grace and receive Your strength. We ask and we receive this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.