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Water, Water Everywhere

For Oklahoma residents, the storms of this spring have set a new level of flooding stats.  The torrential storms and constant rainfall in recent weeks has filled every available lake, pond, river, and has flooded entire towns to the point of total abandonment.  Once the water recedes, the massive effort of mud-out, repair, and new construction will take quite some time to restore what has been destroyed. 

In times of great crisis, the character of people is readily manifested.  Some of those affected most have had a truly victorious spirit that is going to enable them to overcome the tragedy.  For others who are simply aggravated and inconvenienced that their routines have been temporarily disrupted by the storms, their comments demonstrate how very shallow, superficial, and obviously self-focused they are.

Scripture reminds us that God is with us even in the storms of life.  Consider Isaiah 43:2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

After 40 years in the wilderness, it was time for Israel led by Joshua to enter Canaan.  Only one more hurtle to cross.  The Jordan River which is normally quite small and non-threatening can be quite deep and challenging in flood stage.  God ordained that Israel was to cross the Jordan at its height of flooding so they would always remember the power of God to provide a way through for them.  The generation that had crossed the Red Sea on dry land had died in the wilderness.  The new generation had heard the story “only”.  Now, they needed to know of God’s might.

Joshua 3:6-17Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So, they took it up and went ahead of them.

And the Lord said to Joshua, Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”

Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10 This is how you will know that the living God is among you…..  11 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 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, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So, the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

Our God is able to sustain, protect, and provide for His people.  As He has been faithful in the past, so will He be faithful.  Perhaps you remember the old hymn, YIELD NOT TO TEMPTATION…..

To him that o’ercometh, God giveth a crown,

Through faith we will conquer, though often cast down;
He who is our Savior, our strength will renew;

Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.