“Choose 12 men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight…to serve as a sign among you…These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:2-3,6,7
A counselor I saw one time said “If God asks you to cross the road, you can bet there’ll be a parade on the street”. God’s plan is often simple, but it ain’t always easy!
The Israelites didn’t know easy!
This request from God was to me the most difficult in the desert exodus to the Promise Land. At first all they had to do was dip their toes in the Jordan River and then God parted the waters for them to walk across on dry ground with a strong wind. Scripture tells us that the river was at flood stage. A rushing river and strong winds would make for a scary crossing over! I would think the Priests first thought would be to get to the other side and away from the danger, but twelve men had to go back into the middle of the parted river and pick out twelve stones. Research suggests that where they crossed the river would have been about 360 feet at that time. To give you perspective, that’s the distance of an NFL Football field with raging water heaped up on either side of you! Gulp. Take a deep breath, and go back in there boys! Imagine the faith they had to muster up to fulfill the task God called them to? They probably were thinking, “This is stupid. It doesn’t make sense. What difference is it going to make if I get a stone and we pile them up? Why is God making me do this?”
They had no way of knowing how many sermons and books would be written about their heroic task. No idea that their seemingly unimportant step of faith would motivate others for centuries! Take a step of faith, no matter how difficult and follow God today! You’ll never know how many people’s lives you will inspire!
Father…I thank-you for all the examples you give in your Word that let me see real people, living out real faith. Help me to go beyond the easy and press forward to what you’ve called me to do. Let me not shrink back when things get difficult but accomplish what you’ve called me to do so that others will be inspired. In Jesus name…Amen.