Wet Feet

Joshua 3:5-6

Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” And Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on before the people.” So they took  up the ark of the covenant and went before the people.

I am just a small, unimportant girl, the youngest in my family and forgotten most of the time. But when it comes to learning what is happening in the camp, being small and ignored has its advantages. I’ve learned to quietly sneak beneath the tent flap and lose myself among the people and the animals. I’ve also discovered a perfect hiding place near Joshua, in a large basket outside his tent, where I often am the first one in camp to hear important news. Here I listened as Joshua told the elders what God revealed to him, “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous.” This makes no sense to me, and when I told Ima she said I was too tiny to have the faith necessary to understand. She said my faith would have to grow but she didn’t tell me how. She didn’t even tell me what faith was. So, I keep hiding in the basket hoping my faith will get bigger as I listen to Joshua, even though that makes no sense either.

Three days ago, the camp was in a frenzy. The spies Joshua sent out to Jericho were returning and people were crowding around them demanding to know what they learned. I heard them tell Abba that they would only divulge their news to Joshua, so I raced to my secret hiding place before they could arrive, hoping something they said might make my faith get big. Gently lifting the lid just enough to peak out, I saw crowds forming around Joshua and the two spies. They spoke quietly at first, but I heard every word, “Truly the LORD has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.” This was the most exciting news, and I couldn’t help wiggling in anticipation. We were really going to enter the Promised Land! Surely there my faith would get bigger. I couldn’t wait to scamper out of the basket and race to tell Abba and Ima and my three know-it-all brothers! But then I heard them say we would have to cross the Jordan River and it was overflowing its banks right now. I’m a child of the wilderness; we all are. Not one of us knows how to swim, least of all me. Fear clutched at me, and without waiting to hear the rest of the news, without waiting till no one was looking, I jumped out of the basket and ran home in a panic, hiding under my blanket in the corner of our tent, all desire to gloat over my news forgotten, all thoughts of growing faith cast aside.

I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew Ima was yanking the blanket off me. “What are you doing, child? Get up, you lazy girl! Come, we must begin to pack our provisions. In three days, we are to pass over the Jordan and take possession of the Promised Land.” Ima was like a whirlwind, Abba and the boys also hastening to prepare our departure. No one listened to me when I tried to tell them about the flooding Jordan, no one saw the tears of fear that ran in rivulets down my dirty face as I tied our bedding together. No one paid any attention to my dragging feet the next day as we slowly traveled away from Shittim toward the watery grave that I knew waited for us. No one saw my downcast eyes of doubt yesterday as the priests issued the command from Joshua, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” And no one heard my cry of horror this morning when the priests chose Abba from our tribe to accompany eleven other men and the priests carrying the ark of the covenant into the floodwaters of the Jordan. I heard the priest say, “When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan,” and I clung tightly to Abba, trying to prevent his leaving. How could he stand still as torrents of water assaulted them? Why would no one listen to me? “Have faith,” he calls out as he leaves. How will that help when Ima says I only have tiny faith?

Now the silent air is heavy with anticipation and expectation. The only sound is the approaching footsteps of the priests and twelve men as the ark of the covenant passes before the people. Joshua’s voice echoes off the rocky hills surrounding the valley, his words accurately passed down the miles of Israelites waiting to move forward. “ Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over before you into the Jordan. And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the art of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.” Our tribe  would be the first to cross, and my fear mounts with every step I take.

Nearing the river, I spot my father and breathe a sigh of relief. As I was accustomed to doing, I slip away from the crowd and hurry towards him, the smile on his face acting as sunlight to evaporate all my fears and worries. Abba scoops me up in his arms and points to ark of the covenant. “Look, Yaldati Hak’tana, my little girl! Do you see what God Almighty has done for us, His chosen people? The waters of the Jordan stand up and the ground is dry for us to cross over! Just as God told Joshua, He has done. As soon as the feet of the priests dipped into the brink of the river, the water rose in a heap and the ground where they stand became dry and clear. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the Faithful God who keeps His covenant with His people. What He promises, He will do.” My Abba looks deeply into my eyes and says, “This is what the Almighty says, little one, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Then he whispers in my ear, “Sometimes faith means getting your feet wet. It’s not how tiny your faith is; it’s how big your God is.” He chuckles then as he asks, “Will I carry you over now or will you walk on dry ground over the Jordan River?”

Boldly, on tiny legs with tiny faith in a very big God, I march to the riverbank and cross over into my Promised Land. Chosen by the Almighty to be His own, I know that He sees me, and He hears me. I matter to Him. I can be strong and courageous because He is with me. With each determined step, I feel my tiny faith growing.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

  1. When has God asked you to trust Him in the face of impossible circumstances?
  2. What was the outcome?
  3. How has God used “wet feet” to grow your faith?

Almighty God, I praise You for Your promise that You will never leave me or forsake me. I lay my fears and worries at Your feet and choose to trust You to lead me through the floodwaters in my life. Help me to obey Your command to be strong and courageous, to not be frightened or dismayed because I know that You are with me wherever I go. Amen.

Published by thistleplaid

Introductions are always awkward. What words can capture the essence of character and personality? And yet, we all long to know and be known, so let me introduce myself to you. I am an introverted "fun girl" who is passionate about Jesus, family and intimate friendships. I am a wife of 50 years, whose husband now resides in heaven (widow does not define me!). I am a mother of three daughters and three sons-in-love, a Gram to eight grandchildren, and a Great-Granny to one adorable baby girl. With Scottish ancestry, I love all things plaid, bagpipes and thistles. I love tea and books and rainy days; mountains, ocean waves, and sunshine' lavender, Golden Doodles, bagpipes and country music. Most importantly, I am the daughter of the King of Kings, on the journey of being conformed to His image and desperately in need of His mercies every day. My goal with this blog is to meet other women on this journey and encourage them to see and seek Encounters with Mercy and Glimpses of Glory that will challenge and nourish their souls.

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