There are a lot of times in life that we are asked to do things that we don’t want to do. And a lot of times, we don’t know how we’re going to do them. For instance, I didn’t know how in the heck I was going to make it financially, emotionally, mentally, physically, in any way at all really, when I moved home with my parents a year and a half ago. All I knew was that it was time and if I wanted to see change at all, I just had to bite the bullet and make that move. I knew that there were going to be a lot of speed bumps and obstacles along the way and that it wouldn’t always be smooth sailing but I had to do it. So I stepped out in faith and blindly walked into a world that was unfamiliar and really kind of scary. I mean, let’s be real. I was 25 and moving back in with my parents. It wasn’t like I was 15 again. I knew it was going to be totally different and I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that if I stayed where I was though, that was all I was ever going to be or do. And I knew that there was something else beyond what my finite mind could see. So I made the move. And there have definitely been some bumpy patches but God has always come through and provided a way.
I’ve been reading out of Joshua the last few nights and as I was reading Joshua 3, I had to just stop and write my thoughts down because what I read really opened my eyes to something I had never thought about. In this particular chapter, Joshua told the Israelites that they were going to be heading towards the Jordan River and when they got there, they were going to camp out before crossing over. It was harvest time during this particular time of year which meant that the Jordan River was flooded so I’m sure all the Israelites were wondering how in the heck they were supposed to cross the river. After they had camped out for three days, the head haunchos went throughout the camp and began to tell the Israelites that it was time to start crossing the Jordan. All they were told was that when they got to the river’s edge, God would provide a way for them to cross. They didn’t know if they’d be walking around it, through it, on top of it, or if a boat would miraculously appear. All they knew was that there was a huge obstacle in front of them but they still packed up their tents and belongings and made their way towards the river. When they got to the Jordan and the elders’ feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing and piled up in a heap a great distance away and they were able to cross on dry land (verses 15-16). As I was reading this, I began to think about how scary it is when God asks us to step out in faith and do things we aren’t comfortable with or things that we have no idea how we’re going to do them. We see the obstacles in front of us and we have no idea how we’re going to get around them. I think a lot of times I’ve had the mentality that when God has asked me to do something that requires faith, I sit back and wait for Him to remove the obstacles before I’m willing to commit to whatever it is He’s asking of me. That’s not how it works. We have to actually step out and begin doing whatever it is and as we continue taking steps in His will and towards whatever He is asking us to do, that’s when the obstacles are removed or pushed aside. A lot of times, He waits for us to step out in faith before removing all obstacles or opening a way for us.
I’m not a big fan of not knowing what lies ahead of me. We’ve established this. I’m a planner. I like to have things all figured out and I like to have at least an idea of what the end product is going to look like. And I’m really guilty of calling off plans or completely changing things when I foresee a challenge or obstacle in my course of plans. What if the Israelites had told Joshua that they didn’t think they’d be able to make it across the Jordan? No one had a boat. No one could swim. No one could walk on water. No one had any idea how they were going to get across. They would have never made it to the Promise Land which was ultimately where they ended up. I don’t want to miss out on my Promise Land because I’m too afraid of the obstacles in front of me or not knowing what lies ahead of me. It’s time to cross the Jordan. Who’s with me?