This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”
Scripture: “Moses my servant is dead. Now, therefore, arise” (Joshua: 1, 2)
"At the moment of grief that struck everyone, Joshua probably did not feel the strength to obey and immediately appear before the crowd surrounding him. People usually have a natural need to first be alone with their grief. Shocked by the sudden blow, for the most part they need silence and solitude; this need flows from the unavoidable fear prior to the moment of returning to reality. Solitude and emptiness engulf the soul. For a long time they lived together, shared everything, and now one is taken, and the other is left! Left without the visible, long-time support, without earthly help! How the heart hurts; how one wants to hide from people until the first attack of burning grief passes!
"But the Lord also calls us as He called Joshua, to rise and follow Him. No matter how much we hold on to our grief, we will not relieve it. One way of curing a wound of the heart is to turn it to the Lord, to forget oneself in Him and to rise, in His name, to help others. And notice that the Lord does not tell this successor to Moses to rise alone. He says: “I will be with you; I will not leave you or forsake you” (Joshua: 1, 5). I will fill the empty space; I will not only not forsake you, I will not leave you even for a moment, only rise and go to serve Me. Go forward, do not fear the future. All your strength, protection, wisdom, courage and consolation is in this: “I am with you!”
“Let us arise and follow Him. Let us submit are grief to Him and go with Him to meet the world’s grief. We will have to walk along a stream of innumerable human sorrows; there we will bury our personal grief – and will “comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God’ (2 Cor: 1, 4).”
It’s obviously not easy for us to be like Joshua, but the only thing we can do is to try to reach out to God in all the circumstances of our lives. An example of what prayer can accomplish is from one of Lewis’s letters from 1943:
“There is never any time when all three women [MInto, a lady gardener and a maid] are in good temper. When A is in, B is out; and when C has just got over her resentment at B’s last rage and is ready to forgive, B is just ripe for her next, and so on. But out of the evil comes good. From praying anxiously for a little of God’s peace to communicate to them, I have been given more of it myself than I ever had before…”
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)