Crossing Over the River Jordan...
"When the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD—the Lord of all the earth—touch down in the waters of the Jordan, its flowing waters will be cut off and will stand up in a heap." ~ Joshua 3:13
Okay, so that's not actually the River Jordan, but it's as geologically similar as I could find in my stock photo stash. :)
However, that's clearly not what I wanted to talk about.
I recently found myself in the First Testament, as I so often do, at the end of the journey with the Israelites through their 40 years in the desert.
In this moment, there are a lot of things going on.
Foremost of which seems to be, they have to accept that Moses will no longer be with them; their earthly anchor, the only one they've known. After all, we know they had to wait until the original sojourners out of Egypt were gone, with the exception of Caleb and Joseph, before they could enter the Promised Land.
That's a significant grief and a major adjustment.
God is good... as always, and He gives clear leadership identity to Joseph, after Moses is "gathered to his people."
And so it is, the people follow him.
The other massive transition is, at long last, they must enter the Promised Land.
These people don't remember Egypt. All they've ever known is an almost Bedouin lifestyle.
Although, they did have the extraordinary benefit of the direct guidance of God for when to move on and when to stay, via fire and cloud... don't you sometimes wish for that kind of clarity and direction?
Now, it's time for God's people to leave all of that behind and step out into the promise.
No matter how extraordinary the promise, that's going to take something given where they've come from, having no concrete idea where they're going or what they're going to find, along the way or when they arrive.
So, what does God do? He gives them another (very familiar) gift.
These people know their own story. They know how God parted the sea for their parents so they could escape to a greater freedom.
And, here, He does it again.
In Joshua 3:15-16 we read,
"Now the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest season. But as soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the flowing water stood still. It backed up as far upstream as Adam, a city in the area of Zarethan, while the water flowing toward the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho."
God parts the waters to allow His people to cross over.
He shows up.
He doesn't just show up in all of the tiny miraculous ways we get to see every single day when we have the eyes to see, He shows up in a Red Sea way, to usher His people into the Land of the Promise.
In the first chapter of Joshua, Joshua is told four times to "be strong and courageous." And in partnership with that directive, four times he is reassured that God will be with him.
It takes something to step out in faith, into the unknown. We must choose to be strong and courageous, and just like Joshua, He will be there for us as well.
We know from whence our strength comes, Philippians 4:13 makes that abundantly clear. When we have those moments in life where we need to muster that 20 seconds of courage, we simply (though admittedly not always easily) set aside the noise of the world and whatever is distracting us, and we root ourselves in the presence and reality and power of God.
He is Jehovah Jireh, God our provider. And, when He tells us that is who He is, that doesn't simply mean earthly provision for the food in our bellies and a roof over our heads when we diligently co-labor with Him, (though it's that, too.)
He provides an out from the temptations we face, love in moments of sorrow and struggle, and the strength and courage we need to walk our walk through this world.
... To cross the River Jordan, into His promise.
Thank You for being such a sweet Father.
Thank You for Your protection when we don't even know it. Thank You for Your provision, in ways tangible and intangible.
In each of Your children's lives, thank You for being there for us to give us the strength to take that first step into our own personal Jordan, so that You can lead us to the promises you have for each precious life You've written into Your story.
We need You. We appreciate You. We love You. We choose You.
All of these things we pray in the most Holy name of Your Son,
"Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You." ~ Psalm 9:10
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I give thanks to Him with my song." ~ Psalm 28:7
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." ~ Romans 15:13
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise... ♥
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