When was the last time you hit a wall? I’m not referring to a flimsy sheet rock wall in your house you can put your fist through. I’m talkin’ Grand Canyon limestone and shale ascending overhead so far into the clouds you can’t see the top. I’m talkin’ a “so-high-you-can’t-get-over-it,-so-wide-you-can’t-get-around-it,-so-low-you-can’t-get-under-it wall.
The kind of wall you hit when the bank forecloses on your home. The kind you hit when the doctor tells you your biopsy came back positive for breast cancer. The kind you hit when your pregnant 15-year-old runs off with her 17-year-old jobless, penniless, amoral, nose-and-lip-ringed boyfriend. The kind you hit when your boss calls you into her office and tells you the company is eliminating your job. The kind you hit when you come home from work and find a note telling you your wife has run away with your neighbor’s wife.
We’ve all hit them at some time in our lives. We all probably thought the same things: insurmountable, impenetrable, impossible, unattainable, imposing, frightening, unthinkable, hopeless.
Fascinating story of Joshua
In the Bible God teaches us through Joshua and the Israelites how to handle walls we hit. How to make mole hills out of our mountains. How to knock down walls that get in the way of trusting God. Just after God parted the Jordan River and all His people crossed it on dry ground. After their crossing God told Joshua to tell future generations, “Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea. . .that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:22-24.
Right after they accomplished God’s fascinating sea crossing, the people were ready for a coffee break, or a nap. Or at least some down time. Kinda hard to think about down time when you’re gazing at Jericho’s walls and God tells you you’re going to knock them down. According to www.answersingenesis.org “the mound, or ‘tell’ of Jericho was surrounded by a great earthen rampart, or embankment, with a stone retaining wall at its base. The retaining wall was some four to five meters (12–15 feet) high. On top of that was a mud brick wall two meters (six feet) thick and about six to eight meters (20–26 feet) high.At the crest of the embankment was a similar mud brick wall whose base was roughly 14 meters (46 feet) above the ground level outside the retaining wall.”
But that’s not the crazy part. God told them they were going to knock down Jericho’s walls by marching around the city seven times, then letting out a big shout on the seventh day.
What must those Jews have been thinking and saying to each other? “Did Joshua fall out of a tree? He’s taking this, ‘I’m in charge now’ deal way to seriously? Does he really think we can knock down those walls hiking around them and shouting?”
While Joshua was looking at Jericho’s formidable wall a man showed up “standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us or for our adversaries?’ He said, ‘No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord,’
Even before they marched, the captain (Jesus) told Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.” Joshua 6:2.
“It’s yours, Joshua. It belongs to you. Go take it like I said.”
So Joshua led God’s people around the city once a day for seven days (the Bible’s number for completion). As they walked around on the seventh day and gave their shout, the walls came tumbling down, caving in. Can’t you hear the people gasp and stare in wonder at the crumbled stone?
So who felled the walls? The Host of the Lord, not the people marching. Do you know how many angels are in a host? Bunches more than we could ever count.
What was their wall?
So, the wall God’s people hit was not those fortifying Jericho. God took care of those walls, just like He said He would. The wall God’s people hit was the wall of their faith. It’s the same wall we hit when we become fearful of the future, lose hope, feel defeated, can’t see any light. The wall is not the loss of a job, or the straying child, or the wife who abandoned your family, or your financial crisis, or your addiction, or your terminal illness report. The wall you hit is your faith. Either you believe God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do, or you’ll never taste victory. You’ll never find peace in the midst of your struggles. Romans 8:28 says, “and all things work for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” God’s going to work things out in His time and His way for your good.
So when you hit that wall, what will you believe? If you focus on your circumstances and plot their outcome, the walls will most likely come crashing down on you, burying you in defeat, self-loathing, regrets and misery.
But if you trust God, as the song says, “the walls come a tumblin’ down.”