Finally!

May 5, 2020
by   —   Audio controls are below the devotional to listen to this devotional or to hymn music while you read

Seventy-five years ago, on May 5, 1945, the occupation of the Netherlands was finally over. A great number of people had suffered terribly. Jewish friends and neighbours were taken away to extermination camps, the large majority of them never to come back. Many of the young men were forced to work in factories in Germany. People were not allowed to express their opinions publicly; they had to behave according to the mandate of the occupiers. Disobedience was in some cases fatal. On different occasions, many people, my parents included, gave refuge to persons who were sought by the occupiers. During the last winter of the war, 1944-1945, things were desperate; some 20,000 starved to death. Even in the semi-rural area where we lived, food was hard to come by. There was no electricity or running water, and the people wondered how much longer they could carry on. News was skimpy and unreliable. Public transportation was practically nonexistent. Those who wanted to worship — and there were many — walked for miles to attend church, and they prayed that it would soon be over. Then on May 5th, it was over — finally!

Since the middle of March, we have been in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Most of our thoughts and discussions have been on the situation in which we found ourselves. We could not do what we wanted to do; we felt like we were under occupation. For many, many weeks we have prayed for all who are involved, and we, too, prayed that it would soon be over, that there would be no more suffering and no more death, and that things would get back to normal — albeit a new normal.

Likewise, for 40 years, the people of Israel had endured hardships and had fought battles on their way to the Promised Land. They had buried their loved ones along the way. They had been rebellious at times. Their leaders, Moses and Aaron, had both died, and Joshua had taken over. I can see him standing on Mount Nebo, looking across to Jericho in the distance in the Promised Land that they were about to enter. Their days of wandering through the endless desert were over, finally! Then, the Lord spoke these wonderful words of encouragement to him:

Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (NKJV)

There have always been — and there always will be — periods of time when people suffer because of sickness, the loss of a loved one, or a war. For all of us, it is a very heavy load to bear. During those times, the reassuring words which the Lord spoke to Joshua apply to all of us: "Be strong and of good courage."

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are so many times when we struggle, times when we are at our wits' end, when we don't know what to do. Humbly, each one of us brings our concerns to You in our own way, and we pray for Your guidance and comfort. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.


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Listen while you read: "Am I A Soldier Of The Cross" (Lyrics)

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.


    Good reminder. Thanks.


    Thanks for the encouragement, Joel.


    Thanks, Joel, for a good word this morning.


    This was wonderful and well spoken, Joel. Thank you.


    Amen Joel. Thanks for your encouraging message today. Stay safe.


    Well said and timely. Appreciate your thoughts so much! Thank you.


    Thanks, Joel, for sharing your family’s story that lead to these words of encouragement.


    Thanks for sharing Joel.
    God bless you.
    Stronger we will be at the end in Jesus name.


    Thank you!! Funny, before I read this, I was encouraging my sister with Joshua’s actions as well! God Bless you for this lovely affirmation and encouraging message. God Bless!


    Such a good word for today. Josh. 1:9 is one of my favourite verses. My foster parents also hid Jewish people in their homes at risk to their own lives. They are true heroes. Thank you for sharing.


    Thank you, Joel, for sharing your experience with us in this encouraging devotional. Indeed, this pandemic reminds us WHO truly is in control… and it’s not us! Praise the Lord for His care during these difficult times. Blessings.


    Thank you for these great reminders of how through suffering, peace and hope and joy have returned to us again in living. We know them to be true and I thank you today that you have brought them to my attention to help and strengthen my faith. Joel.


    Dear Joel,
    This is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing this, and your perspective on things. I always enjoy reading what you write. Thank you for being a faithful member of the Daily community. Your words give much uplifting encouragement to us all.


    Thanks Joel.
    A very good devotional. Reference to Joshua 1:9 is a good one for us to focus on especially at this time when we must stay strong and remember our Lord is with us whatever we must go through.
    Blessings to you and stay safe.
    (B.C.)


    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for the message.
    We people must rely on God’s presence at all times: war, illness, personal struggles.
    Let us all pray that God will bless the scientists working to produce cures, treatments, injections, and medications to counter the Covid disease.
    Thank you.


    It was so good to hear your words today. I wave been praying that you and your family have been safe as Ontario has such a high number of cases.
    Here in NL we have been lucky with really only one big cluster from a visit to a funeral home with only a total of 270 plus cases. I pray for all those in nursing homes in Ontario and Quebec where so many have been infected and died.
    Blessings.


    Oh Joel, what a compelling, stirring devotional today! It reminds me of Corrie Ten Boom’s witness as well. Reading your message helps remind me to be so thankful we live in this day and age and place! It’s beyond my capability to grasp what it was like for so many folks back in ’44/45! We have it so ‘easy’ in comparison!
    May we all have our awareness heightened and remember to bring our concerns to the One who knows all and cares! He alone is able to guide and comfort!
    I found your devotional reassuring!


    Dear Joel:
    I hope your writer’s block is over. A good devotional. I’m forwarding it to my Dutch in-laws who planned to go to the Netherlands to join in the celebrations. Of course, all that has been canceled.
    I have been staying home as required since March 15th. We have live-streamed church services. The minister, organist, and a soloist do the services live.
    My in-laws have a family meeting on zoom. One couple is still in the Netherlands.
    God bless. Take care and stay safe.

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