Jericho. And Me. And You.

Posted on December 30, 2013 | 16 comments

Jericho. And Me. And You.

Let’s be honest.

There are things in this life that we simply cannot do. They’re too big for us, or completely unfeasible, or absolutely unconquerable, or just plain impossible.

And then? There’s the other half of that truth: Sometimes? Those are things we CAN do. They’re impossible, but hey. Sometimes we find ourselves right smack dab in the middle of “impossible”.

Like, for instance, Jericho. Did you know it was built on a hill? Did you know the “walls of Jericho” we learned jaunty tunes about as children were, literally, plural walls? Oh, yes. Based on archaeological digs, Jericho was built atop a hill. At the bottom of that hill was the first wall, surrounding the entire city. It was a retaining wall, twelve to fifteen feet high, with another wall ON TOP of it, another 20-26 feet high (and 6 feet THICK!).

That’s a serious wall.

But don’t forget, that was just the first one. Atop the hill was the second wall, about “forty-six feet above the ground level outside the retaining wall”. (source <-- Be sure to click through. There is a FANTASTIC diagram there).

And God promised this city to Joshua and his army. They were to walk around the city a given number of times (see Joshua chapter 6), have the priests blow their trumpets and the men give a mighty outcry after the final march, and see the promise fulfilled.

Could Joshua penetrate an impenetrable, entirely self-sustained city? No.

Could he take a single step? Yes. And another? Yes. For seven days? Yes. Against all reason and logic? Yes.

He could choose to obey. To live the impossible, because his God was bigger than impossible.

Like Joshua, we can do hard things.

We can do impossible things when God calls us to them or allows them in our lives, because while the big picture IS impossible, the next step is not.

And a thousand “next steps” combined bring us to the foot of the impossible wall, where we can remember the foot of the cross– and watch the God who was mighty enough to conquer death– the impossible— work out His bigger-than-impossible plan once again.

We can do whatever it is God is calling us to, in the knowledge that while we may not be sufficient, HE is. And all we have to do is trust. Obey. Do what’s next.

When we feel too weak to carry on, too small to take another step, too overwhelmed to bear up under the weight of it all—He is there. To carry us, to stand with us as we take the next step, to shoulder those burdens and give us refuge, for He knows how hard it is.

Can I write a novel tonight? No. But I can write a few thousand words. And many nights of a few thousand words does a novel make. (Or at least a really rough draft. Ha!)

Can I change someone’s heart or life in a day’s time, make everything that’s hurting them magically disappear? No. But I can love them in the next moment, and as many moments as I can after that, and that can be more meaningful than a brute-force entry into their life anyhow. I know it, because I’ve been on the receiving end of such love, and my gratefulness will never end for that.

See… when God puts something on our hearts—He’s a big God. And He’s got big plans. Deep-running plans. Plans tailored to us, to our very core. Plans that will stretch us in ways we never imagined, draw us nearer to him into an intimacy we never fathomed.

Impossible plans, we might think. Sometimes He makes us privy to them, sometimes He gives us just enough information for the next moment. But always, always, He knows what He’s about, and He will strengthen us to take that next step.

“Jericho” may look different for each person here. It may be a lifelong dream. It may be simply surviving, in a place where there’s nothing simple about survival at all. It may be continuing on a road that takes us so far beyond our strength, we’re not even sure where the strength will come from for the next step. It may be surrendering something we’ve held so tight we can’t imagine living without it. Or it may be holding on with all we have to something it would be easier just to let go of.

Whatever it is, this year, as I set goals and dream dreams, mostly I want to listen. I want to hear His voice telling me what that next step is.

Don’t tell my S.M.A.R.T. goals, but I want an impossible dream. Something big and slightly crazy so that when it happens, it’s so clear that it was God who did it. I just took the next step. Again and again, moment by moment, the next step.



  1. Wow, and WOW!!! God speaks in the most beautiful voice often in the most unexpected place, and the peace comes. The storm still rages, but He is here. I am so thankful for your words this morning. Words that some of us so desperately need to hear. to see! Strength, comfort, an assurance that although our journeys are often so different, we are indeed never alone.

    I read your blog, and I always click on what I’ll refer to as “my pearls” for the day (your inserts). No matter how many times I read that particular days blog, months may pass and I find something new; God supplying what I need for that day, a scripture that just dances off the page. 🙂 What a blessing you are on this day.

    • Oh Melody, your words filled my heart this morning! “Strength, comfort, an assurance”– indeed, things He wraps us in. Thank you so very much! And the word-lover in me simply thrills at your turn of phrase: “a scripture that just dances off the page.” Beautiful. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart this morning, Melody– you are such a blessing to me!

  2. I’m so thankful for your God-given gift of writing! Your words have such a profound effect on my life and make for a better day. Thank you for such wonderful, uplifting posts! I’ll certainly be sharing with friends.

    • Jessica, thank you for being part of the inspiration for this post! You are an amazing gift to this world. 🙂

  3. What a great post, Amanda! Should be required reading for writers.

    • BJ, what a joy to find your comment here! You inspire me in your strength, the way you pour your heart into your work and the people around you. Thank you for being such an example to me!

  4. What a joy it is to watch you dream those dreams and get to sit by your side as we dream together. Oh, how impossible they feel but seeing you experience the victorious joy of not only those “impossible” dreams but the little gifts the Lord lays out along the way is such a joy for me, sweet friend. THANK YOU for this encouraging post!

    • My dear friend. You’ve seen me through the ins and outs of many-an-impossible-twist in life, and I am grateful. Grateful, grateful. Thank you for the light that you are!

  5. Wonderful words for a new year and every day/challenge that it holds. Thanks, Amanda!

    • Thank you so much for being here, Carol! A true delight- and you’re such an encouragement.

  6. I love this… so inspirational and powerful and a great reminder. And, a good reminder for me to visit your blog more often. I love how you write.

    • Erin, I love YOUR writing. Which reminds me, I have something to send you. I’ll message it to you later on FB. 🙂 Thank you for being here! You’re a blessing.

  7. Amazing words from an amazing heart/soul, Amanda. And an amazing God! So rich and inspiring. A perfect finish to a busy day. I agree with others here about your pearls. Truly priceless and in your incredible voice!
    Thank you.

    • Laura, you amaze me. What a blessing you are, what a gift your friendship is! Thank you for the way you shine our God’s light wherever you go. Hugs!

  8. This was a timely post for me. For a while the dreams that had motivated me were subsumed in a struggle for physical survival. Just getting through one more day, and one more endless night, seemed almost impossible.

    And then – I realized that I still needed my Jericho. Survival needed a focus, and that focus had to be something bigger than me. It had to be something that hooked out into the world, not for a legacy, but more a “Hey! I’m still here!”

    Nothing in the struggle for life has changed, except that everything has changed. It’s now just another layer of rock to get through.

    Oh – my Jericho…appropriately, it’s to build – and fly – a reproduction of the first warplane that Israel fielded in the War of Independence in 1948. The Avia S-199 was a Czech-built version of the German Messerchmitt 109, and was one of the worst fighters ever built. The Israelis used it because…well, it was available. None fly today. We aim to remedy that, so some day a Jewish kid can look into the sky at an airshow, and say…”That was US.”

    • God is so good to give us focus and purpose. What a fascinating project, too!! Thank you for sharing this, Andrew!