God – You Have Got To Be Joking?

by Christine Sine

“Move? You mean you want me to move? When I moved here it was to be the last move that I made. And now you want to move back into the house that I moved out of? You have got to be crazy. That is the most foolish thing I have heard of recently.” This was my response to my husband about two months ago. I actually pleaded with my sons, especially the youngest only to find everyone agreeing with my husband, their father. When Christine suggested that we think about foolish things that God has done or possibly is doing for His Sake I had no idea what to even consider as a topic for writing. 

As I started considering Scriptures where it definitely must have seemed that God was doing or did foolish things from the human point of view I realize that it is no different for many of us today. Recently I was reading the passage below and I was really struck about what God directed the priests to do before He chose to make a path through the Jordan River to the Promised Land. Now it was not just the priests alone but they also were to be the ones carrying the Ark of Covenant with them. 

Joshua 3 (selected verses)

1-4 Joshua… arrived at the Jordan and camped before crossing over. After three days, leaders went through the camp and gave out orders to the people: “When you see the Covenant-Chest of God, your God, carried by the Levitical priests, start moving. Follow it. Make sure you keep a proper distance between you and it, about half a mile—be sure now to keep your distance!—and you’ll see clearly the route to take. You’ve never been on this road before.”……

Joshua instructed the priests, “Take up the Chest of the Covenant and step out before the people.” So they took it up and processed before the people.

9-13 Then Joshua addressed the People of Israel: “Attention! Listen to what God, your God, has to say. This is how you’ll know that God is alive among you—he will completely dispossess before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites. Look at what’s before you: the Chest of the Covenant. Think of it—the Master of the entire earth is crossing the Jordan as you watch. Now take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from each tribe. When the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the Chest of God, Master of all the earth, touch the Jordan’s water, the flow of water will be stopped—the water coming from upstream will pile up in a heap.”

14-16 And that’s what happened. The people left their tents to cross the Jordan, led by the priests carrying the Chest of the Covenant. When the priests got to the Jordan and their feet touched the water at the edge (the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest), the flow of water stopped. It piled up in a heap—a long way off—at Adam, which is near Zarethan. The river went dry all the way down to the Arabah Sea (the Salt Sea). And the people crossed, facing Jericho.

17 And there they stood; those priests carrying the Chest of the Covenant stood firmly planted on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground. Finally the whole nation was across the Jordan, and not one wet foot.

True that it happened just as God said – the waters receded and the people all went across the river without anyone getting wet or stuck in any mud. Wow! 

How has God worked in your life over your life time? Or in the recent times? While there are definitely times in our lives we desire to leave behind there are also the lessons that we learn in those situations that it is good for us to carry with us. Again as I am writing this I am reminded of how God told the Israelite people to repeat the stories of how He worked over the years to the children over and over so they can also learn to trust God in the future. As the people prepared to cross the Jordan River here, were there those who may have remembered hearing the story of the crossing of the Red Sea out of Egypt? I expect that some/most of them did for sure, and possibly this will deepen their faith and trust in God as they see God do it yet again. The people were embarking on a whole new beginning in their lives and their walk with God as they walked across the path of the Jordan River. 

So I ask myself, I ask you today – what is the challenge that we are facing that seems foolish? Not only may it seem foolish but how in the world can God have any part in this one might ask? I have to admit that I very reluctantly have prepared to step foot into ‘my Jordan River’ and now as I write this I wonder, ‘what more do I have to do in following God’s direction for me which would be ‘stepping out into the water’ and allowing God to part the water for the move to be completed?” 

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My child:
“Come and follow me:
Yes, I know it seems as it I have given you a heavy cross at the moment,
But I too have promised to help You carry it at any moment –
Especially when I see you falter –
I will take hold not only of the cross but you as well
And your steps I will steady
And your load I will make lighter.
Yes, I hear the cries of those around you –
Those who are filled with excuses of
Why, how come, not yet, just wait –
Complaining of the inconvenience,
Saying it cannot be done or at least not right now.
I see those who just do not seem to understand you –
Those who seem impatient –
Those who you may feel are being neglected
Because you feel preoccupied by earthly issues our of your control.
My child –
I have got this – truly I have got this
Never mind I have got eveyone around you as well,
I have got you too my child –
Try to snuggle in close to hear the beat of my heart –
Listen and allow your spirit to absorb My Love –
Rest. Rest. Rest.
Remember –
The cross for Me seemed foolish to many –
The cross for Me seemed very rough indeed –
The cross for Me meant experiencing what death was like for you –
The cross for Me may still seem somewhat foolish to many –
The cross however is the greatest story ever to be told –
The cross is the only hope for all of the world –
The cross may seem foolish –
The Cross – the bridge to move –
The Cross – To move humankind to heaven!

Amen and amen!

Spirituality of Gardening – A virtual retreat with Christine Sine

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