Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide:
“Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you everyplace where you set your foot, as I promised Moses…As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous…Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or the left, that you may be successful wherever you go…Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9
I’m guessing that the sun was shining that morning over three-thousand years ago—as it is this morning outside my window—as Joshua stood there on the banks of the Jordan River. Moses, the great servant of the Lord, had just passed from the scene, and Joshua has been selected by God to succeed Moses to lead the Israelites from this point forward into the Promised Land.
But, even with the sun shining, I’ll bet if you look closely between the lines, you can almost see Joshua’s knees knocking, feel his pulse racing, watch the pools of sweat cover the ground beneath his perspiring palms, and even catch the sound of an occasional burp as Joshua suffers from a little indigestion—all from the doubt, worry and anxiety he is probably feeling as he realizes the position to which God is calling him.
Listen closely and you can probably also hear him nervously muttering…
“Me? But Lord I’m too inadequate; surely there is someone else more capable of crossing the Jordan River, and with all these people blindly following—me! And what’s on the other side?”
I can identify with Joshua, always have. I wonder how many of you can identify with him also. I wonder how many of you feel today as Joshua felt so long ago. Raise your hand. Go ahead, be honest. Facing something you have the ability to do, or something you should do—and you begin to wonder whether you can do it. Something you have been prepared for, and which you have prepared for—and you wonder if this is the right time after all. You know you can do it, you know it’s time. But then the subtle enemy of your faith slips in—doubt.
Doubt. Its timing is always the same—right at that moment when we need to move forward in faith. It never fails to rear its ugly head to try to rob us of that faith—faith in the God who will help us handle whatever it is we face at this moment, and faith in yourself to do, with Him, whatever is before us and which He has prepared you to do.
You can count me among those with my hand in the air—allowing doubt to creep in too many times in my life. It happens all too often to all of us.
We have all been where Joshua was that day. And here’s the news flash for today—his story of that moment three-thousand years ago is as relevant today for us as it was true then for him. We have all been there, and the truth is that we will find ourselves there again. Facing a river deep and wide with currents stronger than our shaking legs or racing pulse can manage, and that we know we have to cross in this journey we call life to move toward becoming all God created us to be.
But here’s the good news.
Here’s the rest of that story.
Here’s the promise to remember for every moment like that when we face another Jordan River in our lives and doubt begins its ugly creep into our faith—God will go with you and ahead of you as you cross your Jordan River—into all He has planned for your tomorrow. Will it necessarily be easy? Maybe not. Will it require staying close to Him and following His direction? Yes. Will the currents take you to a place on the other side you didn’t intend to go? Maybe. But will He be with you wherever you end up? You can bet your life on it! And a lot of others who love you will be there, too.
What Jordan River are you facing today?
A family illness. A career change or challenge. Perhaps you made a mistake, a bad decision, and now you have to walk it all back to a new starting place in your life where God can continue to mold you into all He created you to be.
Perhaps a relationship has gone stale and you need help in freshening it up in the days ahead. Your children have gotten a bit off course and are struggling with something in their lives, and you’re not sure how to help. Perhaps you’re wondering if there is anything more you can do to prepare for a big moment or a big game you are facing. Perhaps there’s something you need to change in your life that’s keeping you from being all He wants you to be—something that God has been tugging at you for a while to change.
Perhaps you need to forgive someone or ask God to forgive you for something you’ve done. Or maybe there’s something you know you should have done or tried to do long ago, and instead you’ve been sitting on the bank of the Jordan for too long just dangling your feet in the rushing waters, afraid you may fail if you try. It may just be time to jump in and make a mad dash for the other side.
So, what Jordan River are you facing today? Whatever it is, remember this affirming, encouraging and empowering promise from the One Who created you:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified;
do not be discouraged, for the Lord your
God will be with you wherever you go.”
That’s the good news.
That’s the rest of whatever story you’re in the midst of right now.
That’s the promise as you face whatever Jordan River is before you—
God is with you.
What else do you need to get moving? Nothing!
Okay, put your hands down, now—and let’s get going with faith—with Him!
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2012. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.