For the Israelites, the Jordan River was a roadblock. It stopped the progression of the promise. After all the years of wandering, they were so close they could feel it! They could smell it! They were finally at the borders of the promise, but they weren’t there yet. There was one more river to cross, but it was a doozey! At that time of year the Jordan River was at flood stage. Maybe a few of the strongest could forge the river, but Joshua had the holy assignment of getting all of the people across the flooded waters of the Jordan River, 40,000 men, not counting women, children and animals.
They spent three more days of consecrating themselves to God, and then it was time. They were ready to cross, ready for God to make the way. They had heard of what He had done in the past, parting the Red Sea. Was it possible He could do it again?
At first nothing happened. But then they took that step of faith. They stepped into the flooded Jordan River. And when they stepped out in faith, the waters of the river peeled back. Were they afraid that the water would fall back on them? Did they run across in fear or walk quickly across in amazement? Regardless of their emotions at the time, they took that step of faith and kept going.
After all were safely across, God gave another assignment. He told Joshua to go back to the middle of the Jordan River and gather 12 stones. These were to be stones of remembrance.
The Lord wanted them to take the stones from the Jordan because he knew they were a forgetful people. They were forgetful about who He was, what He could do and what He required. And, I am forgetful, too. That is what this Lenten season is all about…it is about remembering.
And as we remember who He is and what He has done and what He will do, He will begin to do extraordinary things. Why? So that all will know that God is powerful and wonderful and kind and merciful and loving. When they see us, and what God does despite our ordinary-ness, God alone will be glorified.