River Watching

Adrienne Yerzy
Adrienne Yerzy

I’ve been reading the book of Joshua each morning while sitting outside on my little patio area drinking coffee, and was reminded that God makes a way for the promises He gives to be fulfilled.

In Joshua 3-4 God told Joshua to lead his entire nation of people across a river that was at flood stage to take control of land promised to them decades before. As soon as the priests’ feet touched the water, it withdrew and as God held back the water, the people crossed on dry land. Once the nation had safely crossed, God released the waters and the river resumed to its flow.

I’m sure Joshua had questions and a lot of disbelief to work through as he listened to God while looking at the impossible feat ahead. But God kept His word, and a pathway across the water was made.

Was there fear in the middle of the riverbed? Did they think about all the potential “what ifs”? For instance, what if the water was suddenly released? The impact would crush them and even if it didn’t, babies can’t swim. And I doubt that many adults knew how to swim given their extended stay in Egypt and the long time spent wandering in the desert.

What if their enemies took advantage of this opportunity? They could have been attacked by enemies from behind, and from enemies ahead! After the last one crossed over, the water returned, and I’m sure there was finality…and more fear, because even if they chickened out the option to go back had been removed.

When I read this story, I see that God provided a way for the vision and instruction He gave. I see that He kept his people safe as long as they were obedient. I see He closed the door behind them so evil people couldn’t pursue them, but it also took away the option to turn back once they had committed so they could only look ahead, and I see that they had success as they moved forward. (Side note, do we really experience success or triumph when we look backwards? – queue salty picture of Lot’s wife)

I struggle a lot with things I feel God has told me, because those things have not come to fruition and right now many things do not even seem possible. Did I hear God right? Do I keep hanging on? Am I in a waiting phase? Or did He change His mind? Honestly, I am not sure. But one thing I know is that as long as Israel was obedient, they were taken care of, and God kept His promises. So it is safe to live in obedience.

Admittedly, I have not been very successful in my obedience lately and am glad for the reminder that when God speaks, He provides a way for His word to be fulfilled, regardless of the seemingly immovable obstacles. So, my (sinful) heart is willing, and while I am waiting… I’m just living this thing.

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