Today’s Truth

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

(Hebrews 11:1, NIV)

Friend to Friend

I simply could not take it any longer. The list of impossibilities had grown too long. Usually I could make things happen. I could make the difficult phone calls and sweetly cajole people into doing what I wanted them to do. Not today. Today every door slammed in my face. No one could be cajoled. I had to wait. And I do not like to wait.

I burst into tears. I felt the panic attack coming and could not seem to do one thing to stop it. Fortunately, my husband had gone to bed early. I was alone and found myself crying out to God, “I need someone to tell me what to do! I just need someone to help me!”

Have you ever felt that way?

I felt like the children of Israel stranded in the wilderness … wondering if their deliverance would come. What if it didn’t? What then? Did they have panic attacks, too? They must have cried out in desperation and questioned God. Right? They were frail humans like me. Do you remember their situation?

The Israelites were camped on the bank of the Jordan River. Forty years earlier, they had escaped from Egypt and had been wandering around in the wilderness ever since. God had met all of their needs, performed miracles before them, and they could even see Canaan, the Promised Land. There was one small problem.

A huge river stood between them and the Promised Land, and there was no way around it. To make things worse, it was flood season. The usual places to cross were covered with deep, rushing water. The Israelites knew God could stop the river. He could throw a bridge across it – but He didn’t. Instead, He gave Joshua some very strange orders.

First, the people were supposed to keep an eye on the Ark of the Covenant. Second, as soon as they saw the priests carrying the Ark, the people were to fall in line behind them. Joshua told the people to expect amazing things. Sure.

Joshua then commanded the priest to pick up the Ark and stand in the river. That’s right. Stand. In. The. River!

God told His people He would make a dry path through the river, but the priests had never seen that happen.

Do you think the priests had taken swimming lessons? I. Don’t. Think. So. And Joshua was telling them to put their toes in the water while carrying the Ark? Seriously?

Faith. God was asking them to step out in faith.

I don’t imagine the Israelites had a great deal of faith in God at that moment, but they had just enough faith to take that first step. And that was enough.

Joshua 3:15-17 During harvest the Jordan overflows its banks. When the priests carrying the Ark came to the edge of the river and stepped into the water, the water upstream stopped flowing. It stood up in a heap. So the people crossed over.

Notice that God did nothing until those toes touched the water. He just needed to see that first step. We often won’t take the first step because we’re afraid we won’t be able to make the whole journey.

When the tears stopped, I felt cleansed and a little more stable. I prayed … confident that my Father heard every word … even the ones I couldn’t say. But He knew.

I wasn’t at all sure He was going to answer that feeble prayer like I wanted Him to, but I was absolutely sure He was going to answer it. And then I heard Him whisper those frightening words.

“Mary, put your toes in the water.”

I knew He was going to say that. Putting my toes in the water meant I was going to have to totally trust Him with the most frightening and violent river I had faced in a long time.

I simply did not want to even touch this new and foreign water.

I wanted answers. I wanted a plan that would part the raging sea in front of me.

And God was asking me to just stand and wait on Him … to trust Him and put my toes in the water.

Why couldn’t He just do it my way for once … a way I could understand? Why did I have to do it His way … a way that made no sense and seemed so hard?

Faith. It was a matter of faith.

He wanted to strengthen my faith. And I didn’t want to go through another faith strengthening experience. There had already been so many.

I was tired.

It took all my energy just to breathe.

I just needed God to calm the raging sea in front of me so I could get to the other side. He could do that with a single thought. But He wasn’t going to. I knew that.

“Mary, put your toes in the water.”

And this time, I heard the love behind each word. He loved me enough to entrust this new trial to me. He knew I would do the best I could. My Father believed in me. And He believes in you.

No matter where you are. No matter what you are facing. Step out in faith. Put your toes in the water. He is with you.

Let’s Pray

Father, I am afraid and can’t see a way out of this wilderness. But I am putting my faith in You. I am putting my toes in the water and trusting You to make a way.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Memorize Proverbs 3:5-6 and record it in your journal.

Share your decision to be a woman of faith with other women who have the same desire. Hold each other accountable and encourage each other to walk by faith.

More from the Girlfriends

Mary’s book, 10-Day Trust Adventure, delivers a powerful message that will help you learn how God can weaken your doubts and strengthen your faith.

Be sure to drop by the page on Mary’s website with FREE MP3s. And connect with Mary on Facebook or through email. Want more of Mary’s devotions like this one? Sign up for Mary’s Blog.

6 Responses to “From Tears to Triumph”

  1. Laurie says:

    Over two years ago I took a stand that I believed God had told me to take which ended my relationship with my daughter. God told me to fear Him, not her. This morning after mourning just about every day since then over our broken relationship I told God again for the hundredth time that I needed to know if I was hearing from him to take that stand. Two years of a broken heart and crying and rejection had pushed me to what I felt I could take no more. BUT GOD…. He had me go to your devotion for today. I am so thankful to Him for your obedience to write your devotions and for speaking to my heart through your words. Thank you and may God bless you.

  2. Carrie says:


    Thank you for sharing. I too am in a difficult time with my daughter and appreciate your words

    The devotion spoke to my hear as well. Thank you to GIG for continuing to write from your hears.

    God bless you all.


  3. Cheryl says:

    Thank you so much for your devotionals and especially today. I have read it twice because it was just what I needed to read. I have had so much hurt in my life that has been painful and regrets for a long time now. I made some bad choices in my life with relationships that have brought me nothing but pain and hurt. The pain and hurt were so bad that I in the past have battled an eating disorder. I have asked God to help me and remove this hurt, but for His reasons it is still there. After many years of tears, trying to get God to take this away, to try and ask him to use me but, I am still here!! After reading this devotional twice, I can see how small my faith and trust is in GOD. GOD is so good and I know He loves me enough to keep on working with me, so He had me read your devotional today. I can see I still need more faith and trust in Him. Thank you and I also thank you for it spoke to my heart with your words. God Bless.

  4. Ali says:

    Hello Mary, What a very timely devotion for me today! After 20 years of dedicated employment, I was notified today that due to the impacts of Covid 19 on my employer, my position is being eliminated, and as of Friday, I will no longer be employed. I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, not lean on my own understanding of this situation, put my toes in the water, and watch for God to work. Thank you for your continuing ministry to many of us. May our Lord continue to bless your ministry.

  5. Sonya says:

    Laurie and Carrie,

    I am in a difficult relationship with my daughter that has been broken for several years. I can definitely relate. As a matter of fact I have several difficult relationships among my inner circle being tested. Including with my husband, child,sister,nephew, and close friend. I very much feel like I’ve been in the wilderness of all of my closest relationships and with the people who mean the most to me. This devotional was definitely helpful and encouraging to me!

  6. Sabrina says:

    Today’s devotional was for me. I have to tell my husband in love how his drug addiction and relapses are effecting me! I know GOD is in this and that he will place my toes in the water! Giving me the words to say that will lead to reconciliation with my husband! Thank you Miss. Mary!

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