A while back I went to the *real* baptism site that’s about an hour south of where I live. (This site is not to be confused with the fake one across the river.) This is reportedly where Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River. It’s even been blessed by a pope, so it has to be right.
At any rate, it’s extremely underwhelming. Because it’s so close to our neighboring country, one can’t just wander through the area unaccompanied. Then there’s the river itself. It’s mostly a trickle of water. It’s not beautiful. There’s nothing spectacular about it. I remember thinking, “O, ok. Well, I guess we can go now.” I don’t even have any pictures of it.
This morning, though, I was contemplating that river. One of my favorite places is on the top of Mount Nebo. It is there that Moses saw the promised land he would never have the privilege of entering. From this high point, I can see where the river used to be. And each time I go I think of the Israelites crossing the river. I think about the priests being told to step into the river. It’s something to obey a strange command like that. I hate having wet feet and would have scoffed at such an order. Miracle or no, walking around in soaked sandals does not appeal to me. And yet they did. They didn’t know what God would do, they merely trusted their leader to hear from The Lord and obeyed.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul says that the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
I think I’ve figured out what my biggest weakness is: doubt. We’re in the midst of opening a business. It’s proven so far out of my comfort zone, at times I want to run away screaming. But now, we’re on the banks of the Jordan looking at God’s promise. All I have to do is step into the river and see the miracles God will perform.
But this is uncomfortable. I’ll have wet shoes. I don’t know what to do once I cross. This isn’t what I studied. I’m so much better at other things – I know what to do there. So many excuses. And yet, God patiently waits for me to simply let go of my inhibitions and with reckless abandon and fierce determination step into the river. It may part. It may wash over me. That is not for me to determine. My only obligation is to obey the voice of The Lord and remember that his power is made perfect in my weakness. In this way I have no choice but to say, “Look what my God has done. It was onto thing of my own doing, but all from his mighty hand.”
So Lord, I believe. Help me with my unbelief.