In life we face many decisions like this; ones that can be often made without too much thought or stress. You probably did not get up hours early this morning to decide what to wear or what to eat for breakfast. Picture yourself hiking on a path. You come to a shallow and narrow creek. Without hesitation you simply step over the water and voilà, you are on the other side, without even getting your shoes wet. It was a no brainer decision.
Now picture yourself hiking on that same path. Instead of a shallow and narrow creek, you come to a deep and wide river, one that is rapidly flowing and not easily crossable. This river has you wondering how you will get to the other side without getting soaked, or worse, drowning. You have a high anxiety moment as you ponder turning around, taking an alternate path, or rolling up your pant legs and stepping into the raging water. Life is full of these kinds of situations as well. Maybe it is a career change. Or maybe you are facing a major health issue. Your marriage is facing a crisis. You unexpectedly find your teenage daughter pregnant. Whatever it is that stares you in the face, it is definitely high anxiety, and you are not sure which way to turn.
A story in the Old Testament paints a similar picture. Moses had been leading the Israelites but he has died. Joshua has been chosen by God to now lead the people as they prepare to cross the mighty Jordan River and enter into the Promised Land. We are sure that Joshua was feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility that God had given to him. His knees were likely knocking and his palms sweaty. His heartbeat was rapid and sweat rolled off his face. In his fear, he probably wanted to crawl under a rock and not be faced with this daunting situation.
Have you ever been where Joshua was that day? Faced with a big decision or crisis and scared to death? Listen to what God said to Joshua thousands of years ago as Joshua likely trembled in his sandals. In Joshua 1:9 we read, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
What God promised to Joshua in his moment of high anxiety, He also promises to you today. God promises to be with you right now as you stand on the banks of your Jordan River wondering how you will ever cross it. There is no guarantee that it will be easy, but there is great comfort in knowing that God will be with you every step of the way.
So today, as you stand on the riverbank, fearful of crossing, God says to you, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Right now, ask God to be with you as you cross your Jordan River!
New Bern, North Carolina