Sometimes our hearts are called to do something big – big enough for the heart to palpitate between the giddiness that comes with dreaming of all the possibilities and the anxiety that comes with the sheer reality of it all. I was reading in Ezra this morning about the exiled Israelites that were finally given permission to return to home. In verse five it is written, Everyone whose heart God had moved prepared to ______________. Really, you can fill in the blank with whichever circumstance you are recalling (or facing). Is your heart palpitating just thinking about it? Mine is!
And then… God reminds me… how kind he is…
God drew my attention to Joshua 3. The Bible is describing the Israelites carrying the ark across the Jordan river into the promised land at harvest time. The time of year is important to note because that is the point when the river becomes alive with a raging madness, and it often floods. Yet the priests were supposed to carry the ark over these waters. Yeah, right! Furthermore, everyone was commanded that when they saw the ark of the covenant and the priests carrying it, they were to follow it so they would know which way to go since they had never been this way before.
Yet there is this promise in verse 5:
Reading further, we find that as soon as their feet touched the water’s edge, the river subdued. It quit flowing, actually, so that the Israelites were able to cross over the river led on firm dry ground. Not the muck that squishes between your toes at the bottom of a river bed, but firm, dry ground. The Lord was with them! Talk about amazing!
To be honest, they may have had an advantage, but then again… So do we! God had done this miracle of splitting the waters and escorting those he called across dry ground before, when Moses and the Israelites were being delivered from slavery (Exodus 14). The story in Joshua 3 is a full generation after this, but they had those 40 years of wandering in the desert hearing the stories of God’s might and grace by the time they reached these waters’ edge. So when you falter, rely on the testimony of what God has already done in your own life or those you know. As Moses said in Exodus 14:13-14:
What is God calling your heart to? What raging and flooding rivers do you see in your life that no one would dare get near, much less step in? It does take faith.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
It takes faith to trust that if we follow God to where he has called our hearts, he will give us firm, dry ground to stand on. We don’t have to jump into the middle of a situation before God starts to work. We only have to go with Him to the beginning, the water’s edge, and stick close to him through the situation. He will not leave muck for us to struggle with once we’re in the middle, but he will provide firm dry ground. The Lord is with us!
Remember Joshua’s promise: “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
Thanks for reading. This is just one of the ways I put a smile back in the world.
- Posted by hellobabs
- On February 26, 2020
- 1 Comment