Saturday, March 28, 2009

#34 The Jordan of Life

Joshua 3:17 “Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.”

About two weeks ago I was traveling to Lansing. I had meetings that I needed to attend there for professional development. But I had also been having trouble with my car’s suspension and desperately needed to get it fixed. My front struts and rear shocks were worn out and the car was not riding or handling very well at all. I likened it to what it must have been like to ride a wagon along the Oregon Trail. Because the front-end of the car was so terribly worn and out of alignment my tires that I just bought in November of last year became nearly worn out too. The tire on the front right was worn to the point that you could see the steel belts showing on the outside edge. In light of that I had parked the car for about a week and half until I could order the parts and get them installed.

While in route to Lansing just below Alma and not quite to Ithaca my tire blew out. And as is often the case, I was talking on the phone. After all, a pastor’s car is a mobile office. To make it worse, I was in the left-hand lane and leaving a voice message for one of our church families. I hurriedly told their answering machine I just had a tire blow out and I had to go. I never thought about how it may scare them to come home and hear that message. By God’s grace, I was able to get to the right-hand shoulder and out of the traffic flow. I did not get hurt at all. I calmly got out and began to dig out the spare tire to exchange it for the damaged one. No problem right? Wrong.

Since the front end was messed up I was afraid to put the spare on the front so I moved the rear tire to the front and put the compact spare on the rear. So far, so good. That is until I lowered the jack and brought the full weight of the car to bear on the spare which I quickly discovered was flat also. In brief, I was unable to make any phone calls and get help so I decided to pray. I asked the Lord to please send me someone to help air up my tire. I even asked the Lord to have someone with an air compressor to stop by. But after about fifteen minutes no one had stopped. I began to doubt the Lord. I began to ask the Lord why He was not sending someone to my aid. Finally, I decided that the Lord could not bless me unless I tried to help myself.

I remembered the children of Israel who were eager to pass into the promised land under Joshua’s leadership. They came to mighty Jordan and needed to cross over. The Lord caused the waters to stop flowing and the priests carried the ark into the dry river bed first. They stood there with the ark until all had crossed over and then they came on across. I knew the Lord would go before me if I was willing to follow. The idea came to me that I needed to take off my little spare tire and begin walking so that is what I did. I had been on the roadside for about 40 minutes and no one came to my aid.

As soon as I followed the Lord’s leading and began walking down the road with my tire, a car pulled over in front of me. The two gentlemen offered to carry me to a station to air up the tire and they brought me back to my car. They even waited until I got it put back on and they followed me a few miles to make sure it was going to hold. What a blessing they were to me. But that blessing did not come until I was willing to go where the Lord led me.

This morning I can’t help but wonder how many of you may be waiting for something to happen in your life. I can’t help but wonder how many of you need to take action on issues in your life. How many of you desperately need something to happen for you but it seems that all avenues of opportunity have been exhausted? I would encourage you to of course first seek the Lord in prayer and fully surrender you heart to Him. Let Him have full control of your life and be willing to move as He gives you guidance. Just remember that God will go before you and prepare the way if you are willing to get up and do your part too. God wanted to help me fix my tire but He wanted me to do my earnest part and not just sit and wait for help to come to me.

For 40 minutes not one soul stopped to see if I needed anything. The moment I start walking down the shoulder with my small tire a car with two of the nicest guys you could ever meet pulls over. Friends, I want to encourage you to make sure that you are prayed up and then ask the Lord to show you how you can move for Him. Ask Him to show you how you need to move forward in faith knowing that the Lord will lead you where you need to go. He will make a path when there is no path and He will open doors where there appear to be no doors. Nothing is impossible for God to accomplish in your life!

Dear Father God,

We praise You and give You glory and honor on this Sabbath morning. We thank You for this life and the opportunity to serve You. We ask this morning that You would give us encouragement to know that You will lead us where we need to go. You will show us paths heretofore we have not seen and You will give us guidance beyond what human reasoning can devise. Father, we thank You for Jesus that we can have a Savior and Lord who loves us more than we can truly know, and we thank You that He will lead us all the way to heaven if we will simply follow Him completely. Give us motivation to do our part. Give us the courage to step across the Jordans in our lives. This we pray in Jesus holy name, Amen.

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