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.

Sandy

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Sunday Scripture – Waiting on God

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Waiting on God can be difficult. Wouldn’t you agree?

We wait on God to deliver our children at just the right moment. We wait on God to find the right job in his perfect timing. We wait on God to learn the latest test results. The waiting line is long …

I’m sure you could fill in your own “waiting on God” items on the list.

Waiting is not an area of strength for me. I don’t particularly care to wait. Maybe the fast pace of growing up where I did has something to do with that, but I doubt it is totally to blame.

When I moved from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to Orlando, Florida there were marked differences, and not just in the weather. The pace seemed slower. It didn’t seem slower, it was slower. It took me a while to get used to people not being in a constant rush to get things done.

There were two places where I noticed this slower pace the most; church and the grocery store.

Growing up I remember my father made it a point we arrived at any appointment well ahead of time. That included church. It seemed most of our congregation adhered to that philosophy as well, and if you weren’t in your seats ready to go at least fifteen minutes before church was supposed to “start”, then you were late.

That was definitely not the way our church in Florida often operated. Nope. Not at all. I’d arrive fifteen minutes early, and be the only car in the parking lot. So, I’m sure you can imagine people were not in their seats ready to go when the service was supposed to begin. Drove me crazy.

I’m finding in life God often makes us wait. I believe that thought corresponds to the verse in Psalm 23 that says, “He makes me lie down … ”

While we wait on God, maybe we should reflect on who God is, what his purpose for the wait might be, and what he wants us to learn from it.

What do you think? Do you find it easy to wait, or not?

“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.” Psalm 62:1 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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