“He replied, “Neither, but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to him, “What do you command your servant, my lord?” The commander of the army of the Lord said to Joshua, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:14-15)
In the face of adversity, the commander of the Lord’s army shows up. Joshua asks him what to DO. The angel says, “take off your shoes. You’re standing on holy ground.” That ground right before the “battle of Jericho” is holy–set apart by God. that ground in the middle of the journey when the Israelites are not yet to the Promised Land is holy. That ground in the shadow of the daunting opposition is holy. That ground in the middle of the wilderness is holy.
How many times when we face opposition and God shows up do we say, like Joshua, “what do you want me to do?” We imagine that reinforcements have arrived so now is the time to ACT. But God says, “the ground HERE is holy. Take your shoes off.”
How many times recently have I asked of God, “what do you command…what should I DO?” I wonder if I’m even open to an answer like this: “take off your shoes…THIS ground that you are standing on is holy ground”–this ground of indecision and unknown…this ground of journey and wilderness…this ground in the shadow of daunting challenges…THIS ground where are RIGHT NOW is holy.
Dear God, If the ground that I am standing on is holy ground, then there’s no rush to get past it. I can take my shoes off and rest in being in your presence in this place at this time. Help me to see your presence here now–in the midst of uncertainty and indecision…in the midst of the journey and the wandering…in the midst of overwhelming challenge and expectations. Show me what it means that “the place where you stand is holy.”