Have you ever imagined if you had been among the Israelites crossing through the red sea when it parted or crossing the Jordan River when the waters piled up in a mass instead of flowing downstream. It must have been pretty nerve racking for those who were crossing. I picture staring up at the wall of water and seeing creatures swimming by wondering if it would all collapse before I reached the other side.
As much wonderment as I would have experienced crossing, I would have an equal amount of relief when I finally had safe passage. But there were a few people who lingered behind and hung out in the middle of the Jordan River for quite some time. The men who were carrying the ark were the first to step foot into the raging waters of the river that was at flood stage and the last out. While everyone crossed, they stayed in the middle of the Jordan. After the last Israelite made it onto dry land, these men and the ark remained.
“So Joshua summoned the twelve men he had selected from the Israelites, one for each tribe, and said to them ‘Go in the middle of the Jordan. Each of you will lift a stone onto his shoulder, one for each of the Israelite tribes, so that this will be a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’, you should tell them, ‘The water of the Jordan was cut off in front of the ark of the Lord’s covenant, therefore these stones will always be a memorial for the Israelites.’” Joshua 4:4-7.
The mighty hand of the Lord upon our life is often times uncomfortable and frightening like crossing the Jordan that day. In seasons where we are called to move forward with God, we tend to want it over quickly so that we can experience a time of blessing instead of that really hard thing he has called us to do. I believe we can learn something important from this passage in Joshua.
Lingering in that season where God is providing passage can give us an opportunity to memorialize what He has done for us. In my own life, I have made some difficult passages. As terrifying as those passages were, I knew the presence of God was with me and I am grateful I went through them because on the other side, I was blessed of God.
Believer, you have probably been there yourself. But did you spend time in that season making a memorial that would testify for generations to come? It may be prayer stones, journal entries or a physical memorial you dedicated. When asked what God did for you, it is something you can revisit and tell of how God gave you safe passage and moved you closer to Him?
Christian, if you are in the middle of your Jordan journey and the waters are ominously piled up in front of you. Fear not, God will hold the waters back until you have made safe passage. Take some things from that place with you to memorialize what God is doing. And when your children and grandchildren ask, “What do these stones mean to you?”, you can tell about the goodness of God.