I was 16 when my oldest sister died, from a gunshot wound. After that I felt like I couldn’t handle life. Like this shouldn’t be my burden to bear. I blamed myself for so many things that went wrong in our relationship. I blamed myself for the fact that not only did she become a prostitute but she stayed one for years. I continually went over every “IF only…” situation. This is just one in a series of many circumstances that I cried out why?? I asked God for a way out of my pain and a way to help me cope. But I was so distracted by the flood in front of me, that I nearly missed God giving me an opportunity to pass on dry land. Why? Because the dry land didn’t look a whole lot easier. I was being overwhelmed with my circumstances as it was, only to turn to the open door God provided, to see a rocky unstable terrain.
Joshua is leading the Israelite people to the land that God has promised will be theirs. They have faced so many obstacles on their journey only to come face to face with yet another. The Jordan River. God proceeds to tell Joshua to send the priests out into the river with The ark. When they walked into he river the flow of water immediately stopped. The priests reached the middle of the river and stood there so that all of the people could cross the river, on dry ground.
During this time of year the Jordan river is at flood stage. It’s probably rushing at tremendous speeds! I can imagine the people standing on the bank of the river looking at this huge and powerful river thinking “well that ain’t happening.” Okay, so they probably had better grammar, but this is my imagination we’re talking about. This was a flooding river that was not humanly possible to just walk across. You know they were skeptical!
Funny thing, not only did God let them walk across on dry land, but he told Joshua to have one man from each of the 12 tribes represented, to grab 12 rocks each and carry them across. This tells me that they didn’t get to walk across on a smooth bridge, or road. Nope, it was a rocky terrain that probably was pretty difficult to get everything across.
This story is such an amazing representation of our struggles. When were faced with something so big that we think “well that ain’t happening” God gives us another option.
We usually have two choices… FLOOD or ROCK
The flood is when we try to get through our problems on our own. I don’t know if you have ever tried treading water. It’s difficult to continually keep your head above water. Your arms get tired, your legs get tired, your head starts to bob under the water. Not a fun thing to go through. Can you imagine trying to do that in a flooding river! We face our circumstances in the same way. Trying to go through it alone and we just get tired! every part of us is giving out on us and we continually get over taken by our circumstance. It’s not easy facing it alone. It’s lonely and it hurts.
When you pass through the waters I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you…
This gives me hope. When I was completely overwhelmed by my circumstances after my sister died, I tried to get through it in my own way. Whatever I could do to help ease my pain. I got into A LOT of trouble during that time. I was completely overwhelmed and every move I made continued to drag me just a little bit deeper.
It wasn’t until I saw Gods open arms that I realized there was another way to get across. I ignored it for so long because it doesn’t look any easier. Sometimes it’s not easier, but at least we finally reach out for God to help us get by.
The Rocks are where you have ups, downs, trips, and slips. It is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but by the time you reach the other side you’re body is stronger for it. You don’t ever have the fear of being taken away by the current, or dragged under the water to where you just can’t breathe. God is always there to encourage you and shout praises at you. But you have to work for it. Like anything that is really going to change you for a lifetime, it won’t just be handed to you.
Going through pain is something we just can’t avoid in this life. Letting the pain have control over every aspect of your life, is something we can control. Joshua listened to God. He went to him for the answers he needed. That is why they made it across on dry land. You and I have the choice to seek God too. When you read and study your bible, and pray to God. Not just to do your daily duty, but to really try to know who God is and who Jesus is! That is when you find that the rocky terrain is so much better than the flood.
There have been so many times that I have missed my chance to cross on dry land because I am so focused on the flood. Please stop and take a moment to find God and go over the rocks. You will come out the other side stronger, because of God. Gos cares more about our character than our comfort, and I praise him everyday for that. Because in the eyes of the world I have every right to be bitter and hurt. God has given me freedom from all of that!