Israel finally arrived at the Jordan River, the boundary line between their forty years of desert wandering and the Promised Land. Moses was dead, Joshua now at their lead. But the water was high, its current strong. God gave the plan: A representative from each tribe was to gather, and the priests carrying the ark were to go first and rest the soles of their feet in the Jordan. Then the waters of the Jordan would stand in a heap to let them all cross–when they stepped in in faith!
Beginning, stepping in, was the key. Indeed, “and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.” (Joshua 3:15-17)
I was recently reminded of fearful endeavors in my own life when a friend recounted her nervousness before a new undertaking–but once she began, the peace and joy came. When God calls, He enables–every time!
When I am uneasy at a new situation, or led to begin something seemingly impossible or at least out of my comfort zone, I can trust the One whose Presence goes before me. I experience His sufficient enabling as I obey, stepping in the brink. He holds back the waters of fear, He makes a way, He provides, and He shows Himself marvelous. He gives the what, and we must trust Him with the how.
‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
and to take him at his word;
just to rest upon his promise,
and to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him!
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more. Louisa M. R. Stead (1882)
Father, lead on. Keep me following the ark of Your Presence, stepping one foot in front of the other as You command, trusting You to part the waters and make Your way clear.