After wandering for 40 years, Joshua stood in eager expectation . . . and even some fear. He had, along with the rest of the nation of Israel, followed Moses for those years through the wilderness. He had seen God’s continual faithfulness to provide time after time after time.
Water. Food. Meat. Shelter. Healing.
He had seen his fellow Jews rise and fall in their own faithfulness.
Sin. Repentance. Doubt. Following. Wandering. Worship.
He had seen the land where God was not only leading to give them, but the fulfillment of a promise that God had many hundreds of years before . . . to Abraham.
He had seen the impediments to that land and he had seen the fruit of it.
Now Moses was gone and the nation had changed. They had lost a whole generation due to unbelief. And he anticipated God finally fulfilling that promise though him. He would lead these people. That was less a privilege than it was an immense responsibility. It had proven to be more than a headache for Moses. It would, no doubt, be the same for Joshua.
Yet here he was, with only the Jordan river between the nation and the land—the culmination of 40 years of wandering and 400 years of slavery.
God’s words echoed in his ears:
Be strong and very courageous.
But the water was rushing. It was at flood stage. Was this really the best time to cross? Couldn’t we wait a bit longer? Could we build a bridge?
I don’t really know if Joshua wondered any of those things, but I know I am.
I’m standing here with my feet at the edge of the Jordan, fully expecting God to do something that is greater than what I personally have seen Him do before. Fulfilling a promise I can barely put into words, but know to be true in my heart. I have no idea what happens next and I’m half afraid my family and I will be washed away in the current.
In the midst of the anticipation as I turn around to consider whether I should turn back I, like Joshua, am reminded that there is a great number of people crossing along with me. This feeling doesn’t only represent my journey, but many others’ as well. Maybe even yours.
We have been following Him faithfully but are now standing in a place that seems less than clear and maybe a little crazy. And there is a moment where we freeze and have to decide whether to turn back or to step forward.
So, with God’s words in our ears and His presence with us . . .
Be strong and courageous . . . for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
let’s step into the water, and with our toes in the Jordan, watch and wait for God to heap up the waters and lead us into the fulfillment of His promise.