At flood stage
Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing …
- from Joshua 3:15-16
The Lord is just showing off here. He could have had his people cross over the Jordan at any point in the year. His calendar was wide open. But he chose to have them cross during the harvest time, when the water was at flood stage.
Why does God act like this? Why doesn’t he pick the easy, simple, comfortable way?
Readers of the Bible will frequently run into this dilemma. God chooses to work through Abraham and his family instead of billboards and skywriting. God seems to prefer to work through exiles and slaves and immigrants instead of through empires and warlords. God uses the weak and the meek to bless the strong and the wise.
Perhaps God had the people cross over when the river ran at flood stage to make it clear to all who were willing to believe that he was involved in this endeavor.
This story would be passed along from generation to generation. Some would take it to heart and live their lives in the light of God’s involvement and power. Others would laugh at the story as a simple fable.
It isn’t always easy to believe that God is involved in our lives. Writer and comic genius Douglas Adams once wrote: “I don’t believe it. Prove it to me and I still won’t believe it.” Doubt can be stubborn, but so can faith. Some people persist in believing in God’s faithfulness and goodness despite receiving opportunity after opportunity give up on him.
Which posture do you find easier: to doubt God’s involvement in your life or to believe in God’s involvement in your life? How do you think you came by your default posture?