Further Upstream

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Last year I wrote a post about the Israelites crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land. There’s a significant aspect of that crossing I believe worth discussing today.

Four days after the Israelites camped for the night at the banks of the Jordan River, Joshua went through the camp telling the people to prepare, because the Lord was about to do a great miracle.

God would drive out all the people who opposed him from the land the Israelites were about to enter. The Lord would lead them across the river.

At the time of the river crossing, the Jordan overflowed its banks. The moment the priests stepped into the water, the river began piling up further upstream as though blocked by a dam.

The people couldn’t see God working on their behalf further upstream.

All they knew was a flooded river, which they were supposed to cross, stood between them and the Promised Land.

They didn’t know the water in front of them would drain to the Dead Sea.

The only thing they knew was what they saw in front of them at that moment in time.

They didn’t realize all they had to do was wait for the river in front of them to flow past. Then they could walk across a dry riverbed to their new home.

If you are like me, perhaps there are times in our lives when we stand at a swollen riverbank, waiting for the waters in front of us to flow downstream so we can cross on dry land.

We wait for health issues, wayward children, financial concerns, jobs, relationship problems, less strife more peace to all drain away so crossing whatever this moment in time holds will be easier.

Like the Israelites we oftentimes don’t see God’s hand working on our behalf further upstream.

We might wonder why he delays. We might doubt we heard him correctly — is this the river he intends for us to cross?

And if so, has he heard our cries for help in the crossing?

And when is he going to step in and save us from the rising waters?

While God works upstream out of sight, we stand on the riverbank and wait. We wait fro him to intervene, to hold back the river, and lead us across on dry land.

It may take awhile, longer than we would like, but we can trust he is working.

Anything you are waiting for right now while God is at work further upstream?

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It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho. Joshua 3:15-16 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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