“The Lord has conquered this whole area for the community of Israel, and it is ideally suited for our livestock. If we have found favor with you, please let us have this land as our property instead of giving us the land across the Jordan River.” Numbers 32:4-5
I was physically and emotionally drained as we made it to our destination. Our youth group hiked Catawba Falls last week. It was not for the faint at heart. There were two places where you had to pull yourself up with a rope. I am not a seasoned hiker so it was definitely an experience for me!
Every turn and twist on the way up, I looked down. It was so far down the side of that mountain. I was praying that God would deliver us to the top but I wasn’t so sure I would make it. I am a little clumsy so I slipped and tripped and completely wiped out 5 times. If you would have had a camera on me, you probably would’ve made it to America’s Funniest Home Videos!
There is a place on the trail where you can no longer hear the water fall. I felt like we had made a wrong turn and I was frightened that we were lost. A quick text to our youth leader and I found out we were on course so we trudged forward.
You can see from the picture that I made it to the clearing and stopped. The kids went on ahead and could see the full splendor of the waterfall. I could only capture an angle of it. I decided in my mind that I was far enough, I was just fine planted where I was.
The thing is I am filled with regret now. I have seen photos of the full waterfall and they are breathtaking. Why did I stop short? Why would I not push myself to go the distance? Why did I not breathe in every moment of that trip? We were pressed for time but I would imagine most of it was fear and anxiety. Oh, for a do over.
Our verses are talking about the tribes of Gad, Reuben and the half tribe of Manasseh desiring to remain where they were. They wanted to build their cities on this side of the Jordan. They wouldn’t wait for God’s best and His inherent miracles that lie ahead. Instead they settled with where they were. Moses went on to call them a bunch of sinners! Ouch.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you pushed yourself to a place you felt was good enough and stopped? You realized fully what God said to do but you made the decision to stop and not trust Him for the rest of the journey. Did that decision come with consequences? I have discovered it comes with long term ramifications. It may seem beneficial and appear favorable at the moment but doesn’t most sin? Satan does his job well in making situations appear good enough to stop short of God’s blessings. He doesn’t want you to prosper. God’s Word clearly states the opposite.
I am not sure where you are in your journey today but I can share mine. God has planted a dream in my heart and wants me to trust Him to bring it to fruition. I have traversed almost 7 months into it and am feeling that old familiar desire to retreat. I hear that voice saying, “This is far enough. Do not press on.”
But not this time satan! I won’t listen to your hisses that this doesn’t make any sense and I need to fix the problem myself. I won’t jump ship here and say this is good enough I am settling here. I will, by the grace of God keep going and waiting for His best. I hope you will too!
Max Lucado said in one of his sermons, “While we are waiting, God is working. You will get through this. It may take some time and it may be painful but you will get through this.” God’s best is completely worth the wait. He is working in you through the process.
Don’t give up! Don’t settle! Keep going! It will be so worth anything you have had to face or will face on the rest of your journey to the promised land. You may be at the place where you can’t hear the water anymore but the path ahead is clear. God is reaching out His hand to guide you forward. He is with you and for you. God is love. He won’t fail you and He will bring to pass every promise in His Word and He will fulfill the dream He placed in your heart. Keep moving onward!