I sat at the table the other night after the kids were tucked in, hunched over my Bible study minutes after I’d sunk onto a step stool and cried simply for the overwhelming nature of motherhood, the commitments I feel God has asked of me, and Baby #4 due next week. I felt like I was helplessly clinging to the Lord to carry me in the next few weeks, the next year. TobyMac’s lyrics were bringing hormone-charged tears to my eyes: Lord, what we gonna do? We’re relyin’ on You, Lord; all eyes are on You.

Working through the study for our group on Wednesday, admittedly trying to check off something else on my list, the book prompted me to look up Joshua 1:1–9, since we were exploring courage.

God tells Joshua,

… Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. … I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.

So I had to ask myself, Hasn’t God given me these children, these tasks, this “territory” — like He’d given territory to Israel and sworn to faithfully give if they’d simply obey and courageously follow?

I imagine Joshua felt a little overwhelmed leading millions of people to defeat a multitude of rulers in untold battles that lay before him. I wonder if he recalled the words from 40 years before from the other ten spies who’d gone with him and Caleb to survey the land: “‘… and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them'” (Numbers 13:33b).

I’ve been feeling a little green at the prospect of all of this myself. But will I lamely stick myself in the grasshopper camp, or will I ride into the unknown for the sake of the Kingdom and His righteousness for the generations to come?

If you’re overwhelmed at the tasks that lay before you, I’d encourage you to evaluate prayerfully (and with your husband) whether the Lord has truly given you those tasks. Then, with those that answer “Yes,” go for it: Be strong and courageous.