I’m not a Yankees fan. In fact, my children know that the Yankees are the only team they are disallowed from liking. If you’re a Yankee fan in our house (they can finish the sentence)…”you have to sleep outside.” Even so, I love Derek Jeter. He embodies what a great player and baseball statesman is all about. Class, hard work, consistency, leadership, respect for the game, fans, and opponents. I have enjoyed watching his career for the past several years. In Game 1 of the ALCS, Jeter fielded a ground ball awkwardly and was unable to get up from the field. Later X-Rays proved that Jeter had broken his left ankle and will be disabled until Spring Training.
Losing Jeter took the air out of Yankee Stadium (I could tell that just by watching it on TV), out of the Yankees, and even out of the broadcasters. He is the captain of the Yankees and is admired nearly universally in the baseball world. What do you do when you lose someone like that?
You turn to Joshua 1, that’s what.
There we find Joshua, the newly minted leader of Israel dealing with the death of Moses, his mentor and the revered leader of the nation. “Moses is dead,” God tells Joshua. Just like the Yankee captain leaving the game, Moses is removed from the scene, but the game (and the series) isn’t over. There is still more to be done. But what was Joshua to do without Moses? “Now go,” said the Lord, “Do what I tell you, take the land I’m giving you, don’t look back, don’t slow down, rally the people, get this done.”
It’s the moment of truth for Joshua. Will he put his faith in Moses (assuming no one but him could lead the nation), himself (taking pride in his own skills), or God? In quick fashion, he obeyed God, prepared his men for battle, and began the conquest of the land promised to the nation by God. In a sense, the nation of Israel was down two games to none, just like the Yankees, facing a great enemy (as formidable as Justin Verlander of the Tigers), but the series wasn’t over. God wasn’t done with them. He was still in control and could still be trusted.
What will you do when life deals you something as difficult as losing the leaders and mentors you’ve learned so much from? Will you assume the game and series are over? Or, will you trust that God still has a plan and just might be able to handle it? Go, obey the Lord, trust Him, never quit, rest in His strength.