Nurses around the world are experiencing burnout and compassion fatigue. The demands from the coronavirus pandemic have created a crisis in nursing. Nurses are leaving their units, facilities, and the profession. The results are devastating with a horrendous shortage of nurses to care for patients, teach students, and manage clinics and hospitals. Now more than ever health care and academics needs effective nurse leaders to navigate through these difficult times.
In the book of Joshua there are timeless leadership guidance from the life of Joshua, who was tasked with leading the Israelites into the promised land. The Israelites had spent 40 years in the desert and were only familiar with the nomadic life of desert living. Joshua led them to conquer cities and adjust to a new way of life while following God’s laws—a monumental challenge.
In the next series of devotions, we will explore the amazing leadership of Joshua. To get us started, we will look at what the Lord said to Joshua in preparation for his leadership role. These devotions were previously published in CARES II: Reflections for Nurses.
Big Shoes of Leadership Includes Courage
[The Lord said,] “Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not desert you nor abandon you. Be strong and courageous.”Joshua 1:5-6
Nurses are called into leadership positions and as Christians we should take these opportunities to have a greater influence towards Christ-centered nursing. At the same time, the big shoes of leadership can be daunting and overwhelming, causing many nurses to decline the opportunity.
When Joshua took Moses’ place as Israel’s leader, he had big shoes to fill. For 40 plus years, Moses had been the spokesman for God, the giver of the law, the indwelling presence of I AM, the warrior against Pharaoh’s army, builder of a nation and caregiver of God’s people. He not only directed the building of the tabernacle and guided them to daily sustenance of manna and doves, Moses governed the legal, political, and economic status of a nomadic, rebellious nation.
How could Joshua, Moses’ attendant, step into those huge leadership shoes? Was Joshua frightened, worried, or anxious? Did he doubt his ability to be a leader that Israel would follow? Was he afraid of disappointing the Lord? Was he afraid to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor and never witness the fruition of his labors because of disobedience? These were big shoes to fill. Was Joshua ready for the challenge?
We have insight into Joshua’s concerns and his need for assurance from the Lord. The Lord tells Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.” In fact, the exhortation is repeated 3 times. (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9). Today, the Lord speaks to you with the same encouragement: Be strong and courageous. The Lord will be with you, just as He was with Moses, Joshua, and other leaders.
Read: Joshua 1:1-9
Reflect: Have you declined a leadership position due to fear or concern about your abilities? If so, ask the Lord to open your heart to His courage in following His guidance.
Prayer: O’ Lord, I will not be dismayed, nor tremble for You provide me with courage to lead. Amen.
*Previously published in CARES II: Reflections for Nurses. Available as a free pdf on the NCFI website or as a paperback book on Amazon. Learn more about the nurses devotional compilations entitled CARES Reflections for Nurses and CARES II!