A decision has been made, a course plotted and a journey ahead. There is an ending point, but what lies between now and the ending point is a trail of adventure and a river of uncertainty. I wonder if this is how the Israelites felt as they decided to follow Joshua. He led them, like those before, to the banks of a huge river. The river was at flood stage and waters were rushing before them.
Right in front of them was the impossible. All they wanted, truly, was to reach the other side, and yet, the river made that seemingly impossible. The Lord commanded the priests who carried the ark of the covenant to step into the river. Wait, What? Step into the river, rushing with water, at flood stage?
Yes, that is what was asked of them. And the priests followed orders.
As they stepped into the rushing river the waters ceased to flow and the priests made their way on dry ground to the center of the river bed while Israelites crossed on dry ground to the other side.
The other side. That is where most of us want to be. We come to the river bed, hear the words step and we laugh. We sit and stare thinking about the other side. Or we begin walking up and down the river’s shore for another way. We look for bridges, rocks to step on, we think about constructing a boat and we waste time, for we were not instructed to make a boat, we were instructed to step. Stepping into the river is hard. It is where our faith and logic collide in a face off and to the mind, logic usually has the upper hand.
This is why the story of the Israelites did not end after the huge step was taken and all had crossed. God knew and knows His creation well. He knew that once the Israelites had reached the other side that they would move quickly into the promised land and would forget the story, difficulty and impossibility of the river. So He commanded Joshua to have 12 priests go into the middle of the river and each grab a huge stone and bring it to him. And there, right on the rivers edge an alter was built, to help people remember.
In fact Joshua 4 tells us that the stones would serve as a sign so that when the Israelites’ children and grandchild would pass by they would remember that at this sight, in this very place God parted the waters of impossibility and all of Israel walked on dry ground.
When we stand at the rivers edge, being invited to step in, we need faith and we need to remember. We need to remember that the One who invites us to step, is preparing the way and has done this before. We then we need to place our faith in Him. Logic would have it, that if God can do the impossible and has done the impossible, that there is actually nothing impossible with God.
So where you’re invited to step into a river of sorts in your life and you’re wondering if there is another way, take a moment to remember when God has done the impossible. And step with God into the possible.
I’m wondering would you be willing to share a time when God invited you to the impossible and He helped you cross your own version of the Jordan river? I know I would be encouraged by the “Stones” of remembrance in your personal history as I know others would be as well.