Desperation includes having a purpose, the purpose being to do whatever it takes to get out of the desperate situation you’re in.
Egypt, slavery, people were desperate, the enemy was close behind, knowing if they were caught surely it was a death sentence. They were desperate and became willing to do what they were told to do. Consider the fact that hundreds of thousands of people made up what the bible describes as the Israelites. People at all different levels of their faith, those who believed, some who after years of oppression maybe weren’t so sure; there were even some who were just told to pack up and follow the crowd, they were allowed to leave, they were now free. All of them joined in one mission, to get out, to survive the journey, to know freedom for the first time. And then after miles of traveling on foot, lugging whatever they chose to take. Or if able, helping the mother with child, holding the reins for cattle; one foot in front of the other in faith, with a purpose one mile at a time. From one hard situation into yet another, one direction that took work, effort, patience and endurance. Eventually the people just got tired, tired of walking, tired of moving from one place to another, tired of Mannah, tired and impatient.
In the time after Moses there was Joshua, a man to lead them into the Promised Land. They had gotten used to living wherever they happened to be, pitching their tents here and there, the time of desperation was over, Egypt was far behind. They began to grumble amongst themselves, the fight to live was not the same as their ancestors. In today’s terms many became complacent. And just as Joshua began to rally them into action once more, just when there was a moment to debate if finishing the journey was really necessary; they came upon a river.
Joshua 3:5-15 + 17
5And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.
6And Joshua spoke unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.
7And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.
8And you shall command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When you are come to the edge of the water of Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.
9And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God.
10And Joshua said, By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.
11Behold, the ark of the covenant of the LORD of all the earth passes over before you into the Jordan.
12Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.
13And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bore the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand in a heap.
14And it came to pass, when the people set out from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;
15And as they that bore the ark were come unto the Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water, (for Jordan overflows all its banks all the time of harvest,)
17And the priests that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed completely over Jordan.
You shall stand still in the Jordan. Stand still, carrying the ark of the covenant, does anyone know what would have happened if the ark were to touch the ground? Does anyone know what were to happen if they chose to move, and not stand still? Does anyone know how long it took to let the people of Israel pass by them, holding the ark?
Holding up the ark of the covenant for hundreds of thousands is quite a heavy responsibility. If they did not hold up the ark the waters would return to normal. They sweat, certainly fell while others pushed them back up, passed out from over exertion, lost feeling in their arms, their legs but they knew their purpose and the ark stayed above the Levites head’s, in the dry river bed of the Jordan. Mean while the people days later still kept crossing. They were the first in, and the last out.
Why do you think the desperation is over? Just because one situation has passed does not mean others are not just around the corner. Desperation today may be the ache to be sure that the road ahead is solid ground, that the world around you has proven dangerous, full of pain, full of mistakes still yet to be made. Desperate to grasp how fearfully and wonderfully through all the outside turmoil, you were perfectly made; made for a purpose. The truth is set.
Desperation to know no matter what river life puts in your way, there is a promise that there will be a covenant in front of you making the path secure. There is no room for doubt, there is only a certainty that life will still bring work, moments meant for endurance, times when the goal is ahead covered in sweat, shaky legs or swollen feet. There is an assurance that others will support you when your arms feel like lead or your feet appear to be slipping. Stand still and know, in the stillness there is a need for desperation. It is a need to meet the goal without fear, with or without losses, the time to rise up, to find your purpose is now. What you’ve been given is within your eyesight if you but step out in faith and praise your God for all He has done, all He will do and what He is about to do. Those who are able to hear, will listen when the spirit speaks in the quiet, that to stand, to stand firm and know you have a purpose is a gift from God. The battles ahead are sure to be won, stay desperate and know you are loved.