Crossing the Jordan

by Tammy Kennington

“And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.” Joshua 3:17 NASB

It was a glorious day, one that Israel had long awaited. God was bringing them into the Promised Land, the land of milk and honey. Their entrance was a memorable one, as the waters flowing from upstream began to pile up into a heap, miraculously allowing them to walk in on dry ground. It was a dramatic sign of God’s approval and support, a visual picture of what He had already promised for His nation: “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you.” (Joshua 1:3 NASB)

He calls each of us to follow Him into His Promised Land as well. But sometimes there is no “dry land” to be found. Sometimes God doesn’t meet our expectations. What happens when we’ve slipped a toe into the edge of the Jordan and suddenly we’re neck-deep in the river; disillusioned and doubting the call of the One who promised us beauty…bounty…blessing on the other side? What happens when our hopes or dreams are dashed against the rocks–shattered and floating further from our reach?

Do we blame Him for letting us down? For leaving us. For our struggle against the rushing water as we’re dragged somewhere unknown and unanticipated?

Instead of trusting that our Rescuer has already journeyed into the depths for us, we are tempted to give in to the pull of the current. Drifting. Doubting. Denouncing Him in our inability to see clearly from this side of the river to the other.

At times, I’ve been overwhelmed by the dark waves. Smashed against the river bottom. Sputtering for air. Shouting my doubts into the mist. Because suffering? It hurts. And sometimes I’ve felt like I’m drowning even in my living.

Some of you are crossing your personal Jordan right now. Cancer. Anxiety. Mental illness. Divorce. Death. Pain so big it’d be easy to lose sight of the largeness and power of God. My heart aches for that journey you’re taking right now–the one causing fear unequaled. Feelings of aloneness. Deep soul-sorrow.

Can I remind you? He is El Roi–the God who sees. He is Yishmael–the God who hears. He is Adonai–the sovereign Lord, who loves you perfectly. And He is the God who walks on the water–right next to you…reaching out for your hand…and reassuring, “It’s me, don’t be afraid.”

If we can trust Jesus with eternity, let’s trust Him with our today–even as we totter toward His beckoning hand over the next wave.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.” Isaiah 43:2 NASB

Tammy Kennington About the author: Tammy Kennington is a writer, speaker, and child abuse awareness advocate. Familiar with the impact of trauma, mental illness, and parenting in the hard places, Tammy hopes to lead women toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with the God who loves them.

The author of five children’s nonfiction books, Tammy’s work has also been featured by Thriving Family, The Upper Room, Light from the Word, and others. You can meet regularly with Tammy at Mercy Multiplied.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Tammy’s children’s book for 8 to 11 year olds, Penguins,  (Exploring our Oceans: 21st Century Skills Library), please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: Have you been overwhelmed by the waves in life?