It was a few days after getting let go from my first “big girl job”. I was sipping coffee and with a pen and paper in my hand, I found myself asking God, “Did I miss it? Did I mess this up?” When I prayed months ago, I believed that this was the job I was supposed to take. I never once doubted it. Surely, God had opened this door for me. I had made the move. I went for it. Weeks later the door had begun to close and now it had shut.
So I’m at this coffee shop…questioning God. I wasn’t upset; I was confused. Yet I felt such peace. I think it’s such a natural reaction to come before our Father out of curiosity and wonderment- it’s okay to ask questions. I was desperate for an answer (hence the pen in my hand). Jesus then said to me “I want to teach you about courage and about the character of Joshua. Read Joshua 3:15-17.”
I had read this story before. Joshua was a faithful and bold leader who succeeded Moses to lead the Israelites into the promise land. I went directly to the part in scripture I felt led to read and honestly I wasn’t getting much from it. I read through the entire chapter and began to understand more but I asked God specifically, “What am I supposed to learn from these verses?”
There was one word that then stuck out to me, a word that was in parentheses- “Harvest.” With that word in the forefront of my mind, I read those verses again and began to see a bigger picture. I love how Jesus answers our still and soft questions. Psalms 119:130 (ESV) says “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” I love that.
So now with the word “Harvest” as my focal point an understanding came.
I encourage you to read the entire chapter for context purposes but below are verses 15-17 (ESV):
“As soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the distance of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over Jordan.”
It sounded like a bunch of mumble jumble to me too so I had to break it down! The bank which is full of water is usually overflowing during a harvest. A day before Joshua received word from the Lord for the people to sanctify themselves because God was going to move in a mighty way (and wave) ha-ha. So Joshua gave space between himself and God so he could clearly see when and where He was moving (verse 4). Joshua waited on the Lord. God also commanded them that once they come to the water, stand still. Rest in the water and see God move. The water rose and did not overflow like what was the norm for a harvest. The river dried up and the peoples feet stood firm on the dry ground and eventually crossed over to the land they were promised.
Anyone feel like they’re standing on dry ground? Or even swimming in the deep? Needing clarity and a greater sense of direction? I do! When I think of the word harvest, I think of a wonderful abundance of food. I imagine the crowd enjoying the feast is excited and joyful and there is an expectation that something amazing is about to happen. But in order to taste and see the harvest… feel the overflow of water… we have to experience the dryness. Without the dryness, there’s no rejoicing at the point of harvest. Another beautiful verse I came across in Chapter 3 is verse 5, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” I looked up the word “consecrate” for a concrete definition and it means dedicated to a sacred purpose. Joshua told the Israelites if they are truly dedicated to following and obeying the Lord’s ways, He will show up. He won’t leave them thirsty.
I have not yet dipped my toes in the water because I am waiting on God to make the first move. What I believe the Lord is speaking to me about through this specific passage is to firstly get my feet secure on dry ground. I believe God wants to work on my character. The harvest is approaching soon. But first, I am learning to position myself to where I can see God ahead. I wait on his move- I listen, I obey, and then I follow.
Had I not walked through the loss of my job, I don’t believe I would’ve received this revelation and the clarity that I do now.
That day, not only did I find a purposeful meaning in the book of Joshua but I was then able to write a poem from the perspective of what a harvest now looks like to me.
In some seasons we sow, others we reap
We dig, plant, water, and wait for something great to appear
Unsure of the outcome, but we have a slight clue
It’s the time between the sow and reap that is the hardest for me
Not knowing how long it will last for
Yet I remain hopeful because I know how this ends
A bountiful harvest to enjoy once again
And then one morning, you know something’s changed
You feel it in the air
With a praise on my lips and a dance in my soul
I thank Jesus for this wonderful gift he bestowed
That is what I love about a new season
Of the hopefulness it brings
A new song I start to sing
A fresh zeal for life it brings
With all that said, I know this season will past. Something to keep in mind is that we are always going to be waiting for something. It might not necessarily be an entire season of waiting, but as long as we’re here on this earth, the Lord will always be teaching us patience. It’s a fruit of the spirit and something I could always use more of! I believe the key to having patience is keeping our gaze constantly on the face of Jesus. We have to be consistent of this. We will only prolong the wait when we shift our gaze. So stay rooted, my friends! The harvest is in the waiting.
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