Several close friends of mine are walking through unimaginable circumstances. Multiple “big” life events are hitting them all at once. Selfishly, it’s difficult as a friend to watch. I’m here to lend an ear, hold a hand, give a warm embrace and absolutely cover them in prayer, but other than that I am helpless. I can recall a season and a time where many years passed with, at times, catastrophic events. Even but one would have been enough to break me completely… but it didn’t. A few times it felt pretty darn close. The only way I survived is by the mighty grace of God.
The Israelites most likely would never have attempted crossing the raging river Jordan that was before them had an Egyptian army not been charging toward them. (Joshua 3) They needed a tough choice. Stay and be massacred by the Egyptian army or take their chances and begin to walk into the raging river to cross into the promise land.
“But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.” Deuteronomy 11:11-12 (NIV)
In the natural it seems so confusing as to WHY the Israelites would not RUN to the river to cross it. Who wouldn’t want to leave a life of slavery, persecution and death for a land of mountains and valleys that drink rain from heaven.?.
Looking back on my life I experienced something I identify with to be similar. I was in a job with a really good company making okay money for a single mom. We had great benefits, received an annual bonus, and had pretty good working hours. I suffered situations of harassment, and was targeted by two people that I know of for sure. There was a lot of turnover and a good friend of mine quit without having another job because it was that bad. I, on the other hand, was too afraid to make a move. I let fear tell me I wasn’t good enough and I would never find another job as good as this one, etc. AND the worst part is, I listened!
I believe God let me have it my way for as long as He saw fit until the final day I was “let go”. I was sad for about 20 minutes when it suddenly and permanently turned into peace. I was free. I didn’t know what tomorrow would hold, but I know who holds it… God!
Fast forward, I now work for an even better company with even more amazing people, incredible opportunities, fantastic flexible hours, stellar benefits and generous leave time. I have a future where I am unless and until God calls me to another assignment. If you had asked me back then if I would be where I am today I would tell you, “Absolutely no way!”. I allowed fear to control me and feed my circumstances. To be honest, I wasn’t obedient either in listening to what God was calling me to do. His simple request was to update my resume. I was standing at the waters’ edge too afraid to move. I am forever grateful we have a patient and merciful God . . . aren’t you?
Looking back I was too scared to cross my raging river.
What is your raging river Jordan? Is it a relationship lost, unhappiness in a job, difficult finances, a bad medical report, the loss of a loved one?
Maybe you feel as though all the walls are closing in around you and you are too scared to cross your Jordan. Just think, maybe, just maybe God is setting up these circumstances to narrow your path into only ONE way to go, only ONE way to turn, only ONE river to cross. At the very least He will use any and all circumstances to work together for the good.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
The raging wall of water that you face may appear as though it will consume you and end your life in an instant, but I encourage you to trust Him in and with your circumstances. I believe your breakthrough is right around the corner. Stay in prayer, take a deep breath, believe with all your heart and unwavering faith, and run to Him. He has already prepared the way for you. He has most certainly already fully prepared you to walk through “this” season, through “this” journey, through “this” trial. He has called you for such a time as this.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
Victory is yours and the glory belongs to the Lord. Run to Him. He is waiting…
Image source: Bugle