As soon as the priests . . . set foot in the Jordan, its waters . . . will be cut off. (Joshua 3: 13)
The Israelites were not to wait in the camp until the Jordan was opened but to “walk by faith” (2 Cor. 5: 7 KJV). They were to break camp, pack up their belongings, form a marching line, and actually step into the river before it would be opened.
If they had come down to the riverbank and then stopped, waiting for the water to divide before stepping into it, they would have waited in vain. They were told to “set foot in the Jordan” before “its waters . . . will be cut off.”
We must learn to take God at His word and walk straight ahead in obedience, even when we can see no way to go forward. The reason we are so often sidetracked by difficulties is that we expect to see barriers removed before we even try to pass through them.
If we would only move straight ahead in faith, the path would be opened for us. But we stand still, waiting for the obstacle to be removed, when we ought to go forward as if there were no obstacles at all.
~from Evening Thoughts
What a lesson Christopher Columbus taught the world— a lesson of perseverance in the face of tremendous difficulties!
Behind him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores,
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good Mate said: “Now we must pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?”
“Why, say, ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’ ”
“My men grow mutinous day by day;
My men grow ghastly pale and weak!”
The strong Mate thought of home; a spray
Of salt wave washed his sunburned cheek.
“What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
If we sight only seas at dawn?”
“Why, you shall say at break of day,
‘Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!’ ”
They sailed. They sailed. Then spoke the Mate:
“This mad sea shows its teeth tonight.
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Admiral, say but one good word;
What shall we do when hope is gone?”
The words leapt like a leaping sword:
“Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!”
Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck
And peered through darkness. Ah! that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck—
A light! A light! A light! A light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world
Its grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”
~J. R. Miller
Faith that goes forward triumphs.
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 71). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.