God is strategic in how He builds our faith, leading us to situations that focus our reliance on Him. The Exodus journey is a good illustration of the maturing process and how, like a loving parent, God nurtured His people. There is much to learn from their time in wilderness, but crossing the Red Sea and the Jordan River are highlights, one on each end of their journey.
In the first case, they were fleeing from something terrible - slavery and oppression. And the Egyptian army was bearing down upon them. Wading out into the Red Sea was dangerous but so was not moving forward. The Israelites needed God to rescue them from the impending evil. They were desperate and had nothing to lose. While they did not know God well yet, they had no choice but to trust Him.
A generation later, the Israelites faced another body of water. For them to leave the wilderness and enter the Promised Land, they had to cross through the Jordan River. It seems like a no brainer that they’d want to claim their new home, but the Jordan posed a potentially deadly barrier with a frightening enemy on the other side. Besides, they had gotten used to wilderness life. This challenge feels familiar, having to choose between staying where I am and conquering scary new territory where God is leading me. I know the promise of following Him, but my eyes see all the reasons not to. The status quo feels safer than the bold new horizon.
Each time I face a new obstacle in my journey, God teaches me something about Himself. I often don’t know what lies on the other side but I am learning to trust in the character of the One who does. My prayer is that I will leap when He calls, willing to step out of a comfortable place not knowing where my foot will land. If I’ve heard His call, He will part the waters.
For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:3