No Way!

A few years ago, I attended a service of worship in High Point during a spiritual retreat and heard a message from a colleague in ministry that really spoke to me.  Her message was one of hope in the face of tough times and decisions.  She based her message on the third chapter of Joshua and the story of the Israelites as they stood at the edge of the Jordan River looking to cross over into the Promised Land.  The problem was that the river was wide and flooded beyond its banks. These people had come a long way from Egypt and the stories their elders told about the miracles God had performed to preserve and protect them were, by now,  just stories.  They had heard about the miracles of God, but were not there to see it for themselves.  This was a new generation steeped in the traditions and history but still a bit uncertain in their own faith walk.  And now as a test of that faith, God was calling them to move forward across this wide expanse where they could see no way.  The river was too wide, the water too deep, the current too swift. He called the priests to take the Ark of the Covenant (the very symbol of God’s presence) and carry it in front of the people.  He instructed them to walk into the river carrying the Ark and the people were to follow.  They nervously obeyed.  As they did, the waters of the Jordan River were stopped and the people of Israel crossed over on dry ground.  “God made a way where there was no way!”

As I pondered this familiar message I found renewed meaning in the words.  We mortals have only eyes to see the here and now, the immediate situation.  And often we forget the power of God to intervene in our lives, to heal, to bless; to “make a way where there is no way”.  Situations are only ‘hopeless’ in the absence of faith.  And one lesson from this scripture in Joshua 3 is that keeping the faith and following where God leads means that there is always a way, there is always hope.  Fear and doubt are the enemies of faith and can cause us to falter when we should be moving forward.  Faith means that we have to fully trust in God to care for us, to protect us and provide for us on the journey even when the situation seems impossible.  It also means that we have a responsibility to be obedient to God’s direction.  Finding that direction means spending time praying and reading the Bible, listening with our hearts to the words of scripture to discern what God has to say to us, and then stepping out in faith where God leads.  I’ll bet the Israelites standing on the banks of the Jordan River that morning never dreamed they would be walking across into the Promised Land without even getting their feet wet!  But that’s what our God can do.  So even if the way seems impossible and there is just no way, remember, “God can make a way where there is no way!”

Peace to you,

Chuck

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