Week 3, Wednesday
Wednesday - Through the Water
I don't know what each of you are facing in life right now, but I am confident that many of you are facing situations that feel impossible. These might be family situations, financial fears, medical issues, or questions about what to do with your life. Whatever it is, these seasons can be isolating and rock our faith. This morning, I want to read a passage from the Old Testament story of the Israelites as they were trying to get to the Promise Land. They faced a river and, much like their ancestors who stood at the Red Sea, it didn't seem possible that they could get across.
Joshua 3: (NIV)
Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”... And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”...And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”
So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away... So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.
What Jordan River do you face today? What is the thing or situation that seems to be standing in the way of the promise. Name it this morning.
What do you think/hope/know is on the other side of this issue?
As you face this situation, have you heard God's wisdom? If you have, what have you heard from him? If you haven't, take time this morning to ask the Holy Spirit for some kind of specific guidance.
The thing that strikes me in this passage is this - the waters don't part until the priests put their feet in the water. They are trying to stay dry, but God tells them to step *into* the very water they don't think they can cross. Is God asking you to step out and "get your feet wet" in some way this week?
After the people cross over on dry ground, God commands them to place stones of remembrance "an Ebenezer" - something tangible that reminds them of what God has done for them. What can you name this morning as an ebenezer? What has God done in your life that you can remember?
Steer the ship of my life, good Lord,
to your quiet harbour,
where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict.
Show me the course I should take.
Renew in me the gift of discernment,
so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go.
And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course,
even when the sea is rough and the waves are high,
knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in your name
we shall find comfort and peace.
- Basil of Caesarea, 329
"There was another in the water, holding back the sea" (Hillsong). The difference isn't whether God will hold back the sea; he did it when we first left captivity; he'll do it again. The difference is, will we step in and let him work?
I pray for faith that steps into the water.
I love the prayers that Kaitlyn posts in these morning devotion/reflections. Today’s is from the 4th century. I believe yesterday’s was from the 8th. We stand on the shoulders of many saints who’ve gone before us. I heard last night that for Sarah, faith has become sight. I first thought of Sarah when I thought about passing through the water. When I first heard how ill she was I stepped into the water in prayer. As I shared it with you, you began to pray with me . God reminded me that the last year has been a miracle. When I saw her last year in March , I didn’t think I would ever see her again! Later that day, I made my first hospital visit in a year! I saw Sarah-again something of a miracle. As I sang her a song we had sung in youth group and prayed with her, I know God was there. She was in pain and I left as nurses were coming in. I thought I would see her again today . That will have to wait for heaven! Now, want to be available to help her family in any way I can. I’ve never met Olivia, but I am stepping in to the water knowing that God will guide. He has been faithful in the past . He will not fail us!
I have read versions of this Bible passage many times, this is the first time I ever realized that the priest had to actually step into the water before parted. And it takes on a whole new meaning for me and something I absolutely needed to hear today! I continue to pray for that faith that gives me the courage to jump into my situation and get wet, knowing God will be there to see me through to dry land! I continue to pray for Sarah‘s family as well! ♥️
Pastor Nick, I will join hands with you as you pray for Sara, her and her family. I will step into the water with you as I’m sure many of our prayer pr Partners will do and together we will form a bridge to the other side. I know as a I faced several medical issues in my life, death seemed like an old friend. Yet time and time again, the Lord saw me through it. Death, even though it seemed like a friend at the time, would have to wait because the Lord still had things for me to do. I never know when I step in to the waters if it will be for the final time, as all of us go through. Right now it seems to be a “quiet time“ and it is like I’m just waiting. In this waiting time it is important for me to stand up for others who are going through the same things that I have been through. It is like the Lord is giving me a resting time. So I lift up the hands of all those who are going through a difficult time today. I think of my friend Colleen and know that this is a difficult time in her life, so Lord I pray that you would be with her. I know she has been with me through many a difficulty, and it it’s now time for me to hold up her hands as she faces difficult days. I pray that for all of those that are in this group that have that kind of a day in front of them today. I have already stepped in the water And I will help make the bridge that will bring them to the other side today.
Crossing the Jordan image has helped me to remember I can cross my Jordan safely arriving on the other side because Jesus will meet me there. In my front yard I had built a pile of 12 rocks as a reminder that He brought me through a very dark season. I also have 12 stones in my bathroom as another reminder. This is a strong message that if we listen and obey God will bring us through. He is our conquerer who will go before us.
How inspiring! I love this “Ebenezer” and you have inspired me to erect one, too! Thank you for sharing!
I, too, have read this passage before and forgot that they needed to step in the water before the miracle could occur. Today’s devotional and prayer are perfect timing for me to speak my prayer and take the first step into the water. Dear God, thank you for bringing Pastor K into my life at your preordained time to help me put my toes into the water and journey to what my heart hopes is a safe harbor for Julia and me. Amen.
I also give thanks for Pastor Nick and each of you on this spiritual journey with me! 💞💦🌊💦