Dry Ground

Sometimes we find ourselves wandering, in a period of unfamiliar nothingness.  We can’t see the rivers of blessing flowing in our lives, nor can we tangibly grab hold of any of the fruit we’ve been working so hard to bear.  We begin to question God on not only his motives, but also our own motives.  Did my sinful nature get the best of me and I went off on my own trail?  Or did I unintentionally misunderstand God and take a wrong turn somewhere?  Because from this angle, it appears I’ve gotten myself lost in the wilderness yet again.  If I’m where I’m supposed to be, God, why don’t I see any action?  Why does it seem so eerily quiet? 

But what if we switched to a different angle? To the possibility that we are the quiet in the storm? To the notion that maybe the “fruit” we are bearing in this season is a tranquil, place of stability for those watching us? Perhaps the fruit that God produces in us isn’t always the bright, boisterous hustle and bustle that we are accustomed to. But in this new moment, it may just be an invisible calm that he’s emphasizing in us. What if this is a period of wisdom, strength, and leadership that you have grown into, for your fellow brothers and sisters to follow as they are guided toward their own potential? Could it be, at times, we are actually holding up the very promise of God for others to lean into as it says: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you” (Isaiah 43:2).

In the book of Joshua, as the Israelites are preparing to cross the Jordan River, they are instructed to choose one man from each of the twelve tribes of Israel to enter the waters first, carrying the ark of the Lord (Joshua 3:11-13). Then, the waters would cease to flow and allow the people to cross securely. Verse 17 reads, “The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.” The twelve priests represent chosen pillars of security for those who wanted to trust God but needed someone to lead the way.

Perhaps the very times that we feel stuck as though we’re not going anywhere is simply because we aren’t. We may be the dry ground that someone needs to see, while crossing their raging river. That someone needs you to lift high the presence and power of the Lord so that they can walk through, one step at a time, until they regain their sea legs. What if he’s displaying the work of peace done in you, to show others how to be at rest in the middle of their storm? To show them how one small step of obedience can push back all that is against you, and gracefully lead you beside quiet waters.