Crossing Over Isn’t For Sissies

I love the scene in True Grit where Mattie Ross, determined not to get left behind, makes her horse cross the river and arrives safely on the other side (much to the surprise of Cogburn and LaBoeuf).

She was determined. She believed she could make it over.

She wasn’t willing to be left behind.

Adventure was waiting for her on the other side of the river.

She didn’t need a ferry.

Mattie Ross wasn’t a sissy.

She didn’t wait until everything was perfect or easy or guaranteed as a “sure thing.”

Mattie Ross crossed over when the water was high and no one was offering to help her.

Her story reminds me of Israel crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land.

When God instructed the people to cross over, the water was still flowing (and it was flood season).

“It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up… And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. The priests stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation crossed the Jordan on dry ground.” (Joshua 3.15-17 NLT)

Those priests who stepped out before the water dried up remind me of Mattie Ross.

The Bible says, “when their feet touched the water, it began backing up.”

Most of the people didn’t get wet at all.

They crossed over on dry ground.

But a few stepped out first.

They got their feet wet.

That’s what faith is all about.

Faith steps out when things aren’t perfect or easy or guaranteed as a “sure thing.”

The crossover requires faith—as a friend of mine recently said, “Crossing over isn’t for sissies.”


I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

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