Graham Snow - Jordan

You know the story of Joshua, when Moses had died. Moses was a pillar, a wonderful man of God. He wasn't an orator apparently, but he was a father figure. He was the meekest man on the face of the earth. Now he had gone. There was Joshua and all the people before the Jordan, and "at that time, the Jordan was in flood." The waters had risen, overflowing the banks, and there was a strong current there, and those swirling, dangerous waters filling up the whole Jordan. God said to Joshua, "Arise, with all the people and go over THIS Jordan." He could have said, "Let's wait a few weeks, till the waters go down a bit, it's dangerous now, the current is strong. Think about the children, the old people, how can they cross over the Jordan in these swirling deep waters? Let's wait till it is better and easier to cross the Jordan." "But no," God said, "Arise and go over this Jordan." They were still in the wilderness, and on the other side were the promises of God, the promised land, flowing with milk and honey, with the best fruits in the whole world. A wonderful land, blessed by God; no better land in the whole world. But in between was this Jordan. This Jordan, filled with swirling water, with strong current filled with danger. God said , "Arise, and go over this Jordan this morning."

I shouldn't tell you secrets, but those words spoke to me very, very personally; because I realized that, in front of me, there's a Jordan. That's MY Jordan. It's not your Jordan, it's my Jordan, and the waters are swirling, and the waters are deep, and the current is strong. There is a message to my own heart this morning: "Graham, arise and go over this Jordan. You won't experience the fullness of the promises of God if you don't arise and go over this Jordan."

There was someone in Switzerland years ago now. This young person fell in love with a young man, also professing. They were in love and decided to marry. This young woman felt, "I would love to have an open home for the workers, for the Christians, and for meetings." She married with the best of intentions, thinking they would be useful as he loved the things of God, too. Well, it wasn't very long before that young husband got sidetracked. He started reading other books: philosophies and science fiction etc. He lost his simplicity in Christ; he began to doubt, and to question. He stopped praying and reading, and got taken up with other things, and then stopped coming to meetings. It was such a blow for that young wife. One day, he told her, "If you want to save our marriage, you stop going to the meetings." She came one day to the brothers who were there in the area, with tears. She said, "I have to try and save my marriage; I don't want to lose my husband. Even for the children's sake (a boy and a girl), I have to do my best to save our marriage." So she stopped coming to meetings. It was not very long after that that he told her, "You can go. I have no more time for you." She lost her salvation, she lost her marriage. I knew her well. Well, I am glad I kept in contact with her. I passed by once a year, for a visit, and she always welcomed me to the home with her and her two children. She said "Graham, I can't make it. I know God's way is right, I know you are servants of God. But I have become bitter; there is just a terrible ache in my being. I meant well, I wanted to honour the name of God. Its all gone wrong, and there is such pain here in my heart." It was the same story every year. Oh, she had a Jordan to cross; and the Jordan was deep and was wide; and the waters were swirling and dangerous, and there she was struggling - "I should return, make an effort; I just can't, I've been hurt so much." Well, one year, she said to me, "Graham, the children are asking questions about God. What shall I do?" They want to know," Who is God, and Who is Jesus, and what is the Bible. What shall I do?" I said, "I'll make you a proposition. You write to me in a week's time, with the answer. Don't give it now, take time about the matter. I want you to be completely free, to answer as you wish." I said to her, "We could come, my companion and myself, once a week and have a little meeting with the children, just around the table, and you can sit in, if you wish. We will come and try and speak simply so that they can understand about the things of God." Of course, my thought was to try and help her, not just help the children. She wrote me a letter a week later, "Graham, come." We went, and she was there and the two children, a boy and a girl, also the grandmother. We had the first meeting, the second meeting, we had many meetings, and finally she got the courage to cross her Jordan. There is no one more true today than that mother, now become a grandmother. The two children professed, married good partners inside the Kingdom of Heaven. Both have children today, and to be in their home is a joy and pleasure. Back in Switzerland there is the mother, now the grandmother, still filling her place. It took a long time to get the strength, to get the courage, to cross her Jordan.

I told you I have my Jordan. I have had many Jordans to cross down through the years, when I felt I can't, it's too deep, too wide, too dangerous, too strong. Experiences, happenings, disappointments and so forth. I am so grateful God has helped me thus far, to always cross my Jordan. The hymn says, "Each promised land has its Jordan in between." On the other side are the most wonderful promises. On the other side, milk and honey flowed, on the other side there was so much fruit to be enjoyed. But first of all, they had to arise. "Arise, Joshua, arise oh people and go over this Jordan." "If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above."

There is one more small thought:  Joseph. In that dream he had one night, his sheaf arose and stood. The sheaves of his brethren bowed down before Joseph. Ever seen sheaves? I suppose you have. We still have them there in Switzerland where they cut the grain by hand sometimes; and they make a sheaf out of a number of stalks of grain. It might be 20-30 stalks bound together. Then they take three or four sheaves and lean them against each other; leave them out on the fields for a number of days, that the sun may finish its work to ripen the grain. Then after a few days, taken into the barn to be threshed and so on. I have never yet seen one sheaf standing alone. They just can't. You stand a sheaf up, take your hand away, it falls over. It can't stand alone. There was Joseph, he arose and he stood. In every experience, in every disappointment, in every hard task in his life, there in the pit, being sold as a slave to the Egyptians, there in Potipher's house, he didn't fall. A young virile man, he was tempted; he stood firm. There in the prison; despair, darkness, forgotten, discouragement; what is the point of it all? I could take being treated as a slave, I could take the pit. I could even take Potipher's wife and all her treachery. But being here in prison, is just too much, he could have said. But no, his sheaf stood. It never fell. Stood the whole way through and stood alone without fellowship, without help from others. Why? Because an invisible Hand was holding him from above.

You and I will arise, and will stay standing in every experience, if this invisible Hand from above can hold our lives up. But it is up to us to arise. Isn't it so easy to be dragged down, and crushed by this life, and crushed by experiences and lose all hope and become depressed, and think it is not worth even trying? But no, if you get to your knees; arise as far as your knees, and God will put you on your feet. Once on your feet, He will hold you. Just keep true, there is no limit to the power of God. "If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above."