Sometimes God asks us to put our entire foot into the water . . . before He begins to make a way through them.
This past weekend I flew back to Indiana for the Dunkard Brethren Ladies Retreat. It was a fun time, yet a stretching time. There were three of us who spoke and I had been invited about a year ago to be one of the speakers. So God has definitely taken me outside my comfortable box.
But there was something that Jenni Koval, one of the speakers, said that spoke so directly to me . . . during that weekend. She used the example of when the Israelites needed to cross the Jordan. They came up against it during the time of harvest – when it was overflowing its banks.
If you’ve ever been near a river that is bulging with extra rainwater, you will know it is a scary sight. It is daunting, dangerous, and swift! Frankly, you don’t want to get close to it, let alone cross it.
I can only imagine the Israelites were rather freaked out. But what is so interesting is what God told them:
And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap. Joshua 3:13
They weren’t commanded to stand on the banks and wait for God. They weren’t told to hold the staff across the waters or rent a ferry.
They had to go down into the river enough that the soles of their feet were completely immersed and resting on the bottom of the Jordan. They couldn’t just dip a toe in or test it with their foot. They had to go down into it. Carrying a heavy Ark with rushing water coming at you . . . this would have taken faith. And obedience.
Sometimes I believe God asks us to do this. And I felt that very “parting of waters” this past weekend.
I wasn’t exactly looking forward to speaking to almost 150 people. A part of me kind of cringes to even admit that . . . because you want the one up front to have a joy to be there, not doing it grudgingly. But this was the first time I’d ever had to do public speaking like that – in fact, I even wiggled my way out of a graduation speech! So this was a huge hurdle for me and God took His time of working in my heart to get me to that place.
And as I was preparing to get on the plane Thursday, I kept thinking of this verse:
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I knew in my head that His grace doesn’t come early nor does it come late . . . it is sufficient unto the moment. But it took my heart choosing to believe in faith that His grace would be there when I needed it. And it was.
Yet I had to put my whole foot into the water before He would part it.
When I getting ready to stand up and speak the first time, I felt my mitral valve prolapse kick in. This is a minor heart condition I was diagnosed with a few weeks ago, where my heart pounds really hard, especially at night or during times of physical or mental stress. So my heart was pounding in my chest and as they were praying, I begged Him to please help my heart. I knew I could not speak very well if my heart was acting up. I was to the point where I would speak if God would simply calm my heart and open my mouth.
I learned that God wants us at our weakest point and desiring Him alone . . . for that is when He is strongest.
Not two minutes into the talk, my heart was back to normal! And it honestly felt that God had come down and said, “Ok, you have put your foot into the waters . . . I will now part them for you.”
Even thinking about it now makes me almost want to weep. His grace was there . . . and it was all I needed. When you have done everything you can humanly do and then God Almighty comes down and does the rest, it leaves you feeling almost overwhelmed. Both small in our humanness, yet powerful because we know He is there. How big and awesome our God is!!
So take heart . . . if you are in a situation where you know the limits of your humanness, just get up the courage to put your foot into the waters. And then let Him do the rest. This is how He lets the world know who is God!
Let Him do it through you.