We're on our way to an Easter get together at the lake with family. The kids are excited. They know they are going to have fun and get candy, but unfortunately we made a wrong turn and it took us exactly 7 minutes longer to get to our destination. 7 minutes of whining. 7 minutes of when are we going to get there!? 7 minutes of "who's fault is it that we took a wrong turn?" 7 minutes of parent torture. It's enough to make you turn around and yell the "sh" word at your kids. I would never do that... Well.
Ever been there? Of course you have. It's the form of torture that makes you never want to go on a trip again. Imagine 40 years of that. 40 years of complaining, whining, moaning, grumbling... Oh my gosh how draining.
It's no small wonder to me that God, after enduring this for 40 years, while his children roamed in the desert, would immediately tell them to "zip it" as they came into the Promised Land.
After crossing over the Jordan, God instructed Joshua to besiege the city of Jericho. Jericho was an ancient city with a impenetrable wall, so thick in fact that houses and shops were built into the wall. The people of Jericho had long trusted in the security of their defenses, believing no enemy could ever overcome that wall. The wall of Jericho had a reputation in the whole region of being totally indestructible.
The children of Israel were desert wanderers. They were not skilled and trained in the art of warfare. The stories of them defeating fierce enemies on the other side of Jericho were confounding all the inhabitants of Canaan. How were they conquering, vanquishing and defeating such strong enemies. Of all the people who thought them inferior none were more convinced than the children of Israel themselves. In fact the previous generation had all died in the wilderness, never seeing the Promised Land because of their lack of faith.
As Joshua shares the plan laid out to him by God I can imagine the shocked murmur that spread through crowd. As men and women looked around and shook their heads at the insanity of what Joshua was commanding them to do.
"We shall march around the city, all the men of war; you shall go around the city once. This you will do for 6 days. And the seven priests will bear 7 trumpets of rams horns before the ark. On the seventh day you will march around the city 7 times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets." Joshua6:3-4
Now Joshua commanded the people, saying, "You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, UNTIL the day I say to you, 'SHOUT!", then you shall shout." Joshua 6:10
I'm not a real smart person or super spiritual so my theory on this is that after one round of marching around the city someone would have started in about how stupid this plan is. Then someone else would say, "this isn't the way I would do it." Then another person would chime in about "Who does this Joshua think he is anyway." You would definitely have heard, "Are we there yet?" and "He touched me."
Before all that complaining could take place God through Joshua nipped that right in the bud... "Do not make a sound." OH man I wish that would work for my kids.
Really though I want that to work for me. I want to stop second guessing God. I want to stop thinking I have a better way. I want to just be quiet and know that God is God and I am not. I'm not the all powerful, all knowing, all wise God of the universe so what do I know really?
Sometimes, my life seems impossible to me. Sometimes being mom and wife and teacher feels impossible. Sometimes when I look at my life I see massive walls that seem like they will never come down. I see obstacles that seem too big to overcome. I see giants to numerous to defeat. I forget that I have seen water's parted. I forget about water out of a rock and manna from heaven. I forget about all the other miraculous things I've see God do and I get discouraged. I lose my faith. I give up hope and then I complain. I complain to a friend or 10. I convince myself that all this is too hard for me. Instead of sharing my faith in a God who is able, I share my doubt and my fear and that spreads like wildfire.
That day the Israelites were commanded to keep their mouths shut and march. Do what you were told to do and WATCH YOUR GOD WORK.
Just Show up. Show up and march. Just do it.
It's not about how big you are. It's about how big God is. It's not about what you are capable of. It's about what the God who formed the Universe is capable of. Thick walls are nothing before the Creator. Giants are like ants to God. There is nothing that is impossible with God.
I love that He told them to do 2 things they were capable of doing... Being quiet and marching. The task before them was impossible, but they were asked to do 2 things. Trust God enough to do the impossible. Imagine the shock and wonder of all the people that day... The children of Israel outside the wall and the people of Jericho inside the wall as brick by brick it began to tumble to the ground.
I don't know what you are facing today... It may seem like a impenetrable wall in your life. You may be facing giants, but if this story is true, what does it speak to your walls and giants?
Be still and know. Be quiet. Keep marching. Wait in silence for God to topple those walls. Watch and see what the God of limitless power can do. All of this was for one purpose... To display the glory and power of the One True God. What is God going to use in your life to reveal himself?
Let's stop looking at our mountains and start looking above them to the One who is able to do exceedingly more than we could ever have imagined on our own... and all without our help!