When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight’.
There is a moment that is both before and after. A time that signifies the movement away from where you were, yet fails to be where you should be, want to be or are called to be. This place is a transition space, a vacuum of purpose and a time of testing.
What do we do in this middle space? As we sit and reflect on the decisions made at the Assembly and the declaration of a united desire to reach this State for Jesus, it can at times seem both overwhelming and underwhelming at the very same instant. We have set ourselves a challenge, yet we are only at the beginning of the journey.
The people of God as they cross the Jordan were in a state of transition. They had been in the desert and were now moving across the Jordan into the Promised Land. The land flowed with milk and honey, and at the time held as many uncertainties as it did blessings. Is it possible that we can do it when we have tried unsuccessfully before? What do we do now? How is God revealing himself? Strangely, these are the same questions I am asking myself today.
God directs the leaders of each tribe to take a rock from the middle place; to stand in the midst of a raging wall of water being held back by the very breath of God; to stand in full view of their past and in full view of their future; to stand with the rising desire to stay the same, and the burning passion to be part of all that God is doing.
They took the stones, moved away from where they were, and boldly stepped into the promise of God, stones in hand. They collected these stones together to remember what God had done and was doing for them.
As we stand on the river bed of change, having boldly stepped into the unknown and moving towards a place that we have not been, I would encourage you to pick up a stone to remember what God has done; to remind us of where we have been (and that we will not return); and to encourage us to press on to what God has in store.
The time of transition is most unsettling because it is where all the movement, effort, fear and change occurs and during this time we need a stone to remind us to keep going. The thing I know is that I will not go back to the desert, I will follow God no matter how hard or long it is and I will always desire the time of rest that God has in store. And as the many stones fall from my hand, I will long to hear the words, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’.
I pray that you enjoy this edition of ‘Together’ magazine. Be encouraged by the many wonderful stories of normal people doing extraordinary things for God and be inspired by what our denomination is doing through its many amazing ministries.
Please feel free to let us know what you think of the new format, and anything we can improve on.