Sometimes You Just Stand There

I notice something interesting as I read about the Israelites crossing the Jordan. If you read Joshua 3-4, you’ll experience a profound miracle: God parts the waters of the Jordan so all the people can pass on dry ground. But observe the leaders–the priests who carry the ark of the covenant. They stand there. They stand right there in the middle of the riverbed until everyone else has passed safely to the other side.

God says to these leaders: “When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.”

You shall stand still. 

I think about this. I think about leaders who stand still, who stay where they are in the midst of some precarious (although wonderful) moment. They stand in faith, in intercession, in leadership. They stand. They stand so everyone else can find their place of rest and safety.

Someone has to stand in the middle of the river. We read this: “Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan. . . For the priests bearing the ark stood in the midst of the Jordan until everything was finished that the Lord commanded Joshua to tell the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. . .The people passed over in haste. And when all the people had finished passing over, the ark of the Lord and the priests passed over before the people.”

I think about those leaders as the thousands of people rushed by them. It reminded me of people who serve tirelessly so others can heal. It reminded me of leaders who don’t falter or seek other things but just stay put to serve in hidden and unrecognized ways.

It also reminded me of that feeling that some of us get that so many others are rushing on ahead to their dreams and wonderful lives while we stay put where God has us–in motherhood, in prayer, in our ordinary lives.

We’re standing still right here so others can get to their Promised Land.

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