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. 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 you would eat for breakfast. Tonight you get home and you decide to go out for dinner; you think of several restaurants and you pick one, again without too much stress.
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. The last time you hiked this path the river was only a creek, today it is a mile wide. You have a high anxiety moment as you ponder turning around, taking an alternate path, or risking danger by trying to cross the river. Life is full of these kinds of situations as well. Maybe it is a career change. Or you have been without a job for a year and bill collectors are starting to show up at your door. After a routine physical you are told that 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 were 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 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 comfort in knowing that God will be with you every step of the way.
So today, as you stand on the river bank, fearful of crossing, God says to you, “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.”
Right now, ask God to be with you as you cross your Jordan River!