“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 ESV
A more modern translation of this verse is softer, substituting the word discouragement for dismay.
I know now that to be dismayed is a more serious state, more knocked off your feet kind of feel than discouraged.
To be dismayed is to have a sudden loss of courage.
I am thoughtful over this definition. To be dismayed means to me, to be on the brink of defeat or uncertainty because of an unexpected thing.
The photo taken last week while training the puppy was accidental and unintentional.
I’m certain it was because of me adjusting the leash or preparing to control him as we got closer to the fluffy dog behind the neighbor’s fence.
I must’ve swapped hands worn out by his yanking and I guess my finger grazed the phone.
Anyway, I find the image drawing me in, the complexity of the soft and hard ground, the leaves crisp and scattered, just a glimpse of my forward foot and the puppy’s tongue.
We are in training .
We keep on, the shift underneath us so barely noticeable, the shift within us not forceful.
God changing the within in gradual ways.
Surrender is not sudden.
Drawing nearer to God is neither disdain, discouragement or dismay.
It’s simple. It is a soft and secret self-discipline stirred together with sweet encounters of peace.
Peace that is not sudden, is a steady undercurrent like creek to river, sandy path to the main road.
There, I’ve defined it now, the drawing of my eye to the random photo.
The unintentional picture on my phone, peace is what it captures.
Now I know.
I know peace, courage, standing quietly strong.
Not dismayed now.
May be soon. I pray not.
And even if, my heart will be more ready, not be stolen away.
I’ve got peace in my soul, in the ground beneath my feet.
Continue and believe.