God’s Odds!

Joshua 1:5

No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.

Having to subdue seven nations and conquer a strange land in bloody warfare, all while trying to manage the life of a nation of ex-slaves who are only in the rudimentary stages of civilization, can make a fella jittery. Joshua, like Moses, did not feel up to the task. But Joshua, like Moses, found he wasn’t being asked to be up to the task. Instead, he found that God was up to the task and that he only had to do the next practical thing as God assigned it. We are in Joshua’s shoes. For the task of the Church is to conquer the world and we can’t do it either. Still less can we face the fact that the blood that is to be shed is ours, if it is anybody’s. But we still have this advantage: God will be with us and will not fail us or forsake us. Those are good odds.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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  • Joe DeVet

    I’m reminded of the strange little story of Jesus and Peter being challenged for not having paid their temple tax. Jesus winks at Peter (OK, I’m filling in between the gospel’s lines) and says to him to go fish. Voila! A fish is quickly caught with a coin in its mouth exactly equal to the temple tax for both of them!

    Did Jesus succeed against million-to-one odds or what?