Mothers’ Union Devotion Wednesday 26th May 2021
While all Israel were crossing over on dry ground, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, until the entire nation finished crossing over the Jordan. Joshua 3. 17
When I wrote about the storm on Lake Galilee last week, little did I know that we would all find ourselves in the middle of a storm the following night. Even though my home is solid, dry and warm, I still felt uneasy listening to the sound of the 60 mile an hour winds and watching the trees and shrubs being blown about so fiercely. Somehow knowing the power of the wind to cause destruction made it menacing, even when the threat is mitigated by our substantial homes. Being made aware of the destructive force that nature can leash should give us a renewed respect for the wonders of God’s creation.
The reading set for Evening Prayer tonight, tells of the moment when the Israelites crossed over the River Jordan into the promised land. The River Jordan was a substantial river in the days before the water was diverted upstream into Israel’s national water system. Indeed, the Bible tells us it was so powerful that it burst its banks throughout the time of harvest. And yet, this mighty river stopped flowing as soon as the feet of the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant were dipped in the edge of the water. The waters gathering in a single heap, far off near the city of Adam, cutting off the downstream flow into the Dead Sea. The people were then able to cross over on dry land just as the previous generation had done whilst crossing the Red Sea forty years earlier.
God chose to show his power over nature in the same way to let the Israelites know that he was with Joshua, in the same way that he had been with Moses. Now we are unlikely to be the recipients of such dramatic demonstrations of God’s presence, as the holding back of powerful waters. A sort of divine umbrella that keeps the rain off us whilst raining on our gardens. We are however assured of God’s presence with us even when the wind is battering our homes and our countryside. A presence which can transform the menacing sound of the wind into a feeling of thanks for all the God provides to keep us safe and secure – the skills of builders, the wisdom of architects and the resources we have to pay for them.
With all my love and prayers