Hope for Children
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Joshua 4:19–24 

‘For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the  Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried  it up before us until we had crossed over.’ (v23) 

A friend once said to me, ‘God’s clock keeps perfect time’, referring to how we often need to wait for God to act. Our temptation is to step in when God appears slow in showing up. Joshua and the  Israelites have now safely crossed the Jordan and, like their earlier  Red Sea crossing, witnessed a miracle. Miracles are encouraging momentarily but Israel spent forty years wandering in the wilderness in between, and only Joshua and Caleb had experienced God’s first miracle. Our impatience can hijack God’s purpose, an impatience that expresses intolerance at having to wait.  

Confidence in God requires owning our impatience, especially when our lives appear to be at risk by waiting. Much prayer is born of urgency in an attempt to twist God’s arm. However, the bedrock of all prayer is a willingness to trust God, even when silent, aka the ‘sleep in death’ (Ps. 13:3b). Here our life is suspended by a thread as we wait for God. In such times our confidence must be uncomfortably placed in God’s reputation, like Joshua’s standing stones. The testimony of those who have trusted God over time offers us one source of comfort in the instability of our own waiting game.

God is true to Himself and when waiting gives rise to disappointment can we trust God in our despondency? There is hope born in the witness of the lives of others who find faith, no bigger than a mustard seed, whilst experiencing the mystery of failed expectation. 

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Ps. 13; Jer. 17:5–8; 2 Cor. 12:1–10; 1 Pet. 5:6–11. 

AN ACTION TO TAKE: How does it feel to know you are not the master of your own destiny but dependent upon God in all things?

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, look on me and answer; give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death. Amen.’ (Ps. 13:3)

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.