Encounters with the Master: THE POWER OF THE RIVER JORDAN IN A COW TROUGH

The amazing thing about water is that it can be so life-giving. Without it, we can expect great thirst. With too much rainfall we can be swept away in the current. I know what it is like to thirst in the desert. I have watched creeks turn to rivers in the jungle as well as witnessing lethargic soldiers restored to health after receiving precious fluids replenished in their dehydrated bodies.

This last week, I was reminded of my childhood and how water was a big part of daily life as I enjoyed my summers in Indiana. We played outside all day going from one activity to another. We played baseball, rode our dirt bikes and took adventures in the woods only stopping for two reasons: to cool off in the creek behind the house and to drink from the garden hose in the yard.

So why do I tell you all of this? Today, we are once again talking about water, but this time it is clean and being used for baptism as Jordan continues in his obedience and next steps as a true disciple of Jesus. (To learn more about Jordan, check out these past Gate articles: Jordan’s Story and Jordan’s Story, Ctd.)

Now, before I continue, you need to know something about me. God gave me a very unique brain. I think outside the box and love to reflect on the funny way things become connected. The first obvious connection I pondered as I prepared to dunk him under the water was the irony of his name. As far as I know, this young man's mother is not a Christ follower, but she named her son Jordan. The name that was given to a river mentioned over and over in Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments. This river was a source of life for God’s people from Abraham the father of our faith to Christ who used its restoring waters to be baptized by John before starting His earthly ministry. The Jordan River has played a significant role in numerous events in biblical history. In fact, things of great importance still take place in its depths and its location holds a great place in times to come.

As I stood staring at out baptismal Saturday night, I laughed because the only thought that came to mind was that I was going to baptize someone named Jordan in water with the same power of the river of the same name. The only difference is that this water is in a cow trough.

Being a part of Jordan's story has been amazing! Watching him grow as a child of God and being a witness to him striving to be a better man, in general, has been humbling. After the baptism, it occurred to me that this was just the beginning of a long glorious road to our final completion when we stand before the throne of our Savior and king waiting to hear ‘well done good and faithful servant’.

I'm not sure where you are in your faith journey. Maybe you are like Jordan in my first post where you're looking for answers to so many questions. You have tried to fill that nagging void in your life with so many things with no success. You may be struggling to feel whole and you can't put your finger on what's missing. Let me be bold and just suggest it might be Jesus. Believe it or not, I tried to do life on my own for many years. It wasn't until I surrendered and gave my life to Christ that I finally start to feel complete. Don't get me wrong, it is a process and you are going to have your ups and downs but you will no longer be alone. Put your faith in Jesus and He will guide you.

If you have questions or you want to talk about what your next steps should be, please send me an email or call the church. I would be glad to help you. Until next time.