I am such a sentimental person. I don't treasure a lot of earthly goods, but when it comes to instances and words/gifts from our parents, each other or our sons, I am likely to hold onto those forever. I also love the art of journaling and the physical act of writing things out. There are reasons why and they tie into where I read this morning in my quiet time.
I am still reading in my Everyday with Jesus Bible and today found me in Joshua 4. I love these verses so much, particularly verses 1-7 and 21-24. This is when the Israelites were crossing over into the Promised Land and Joshua was their leader. They had to cross over the Jordan river to get there and after they'd crossed, the Lord spoke to Joshua, telling him to pick twelve men, one from each tribe, to each select a stone and carry it with them to set it down at the place where they would spend the night. They each did that and Joshua told them to let that be a sign to them, that in the future when their children would ask what those meant, they would be able to explain to them that the Lord had allowed them to cross that river on dry ground by stopping the flow of the water.
I love verse 24—
This is so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD's hand is strong, and so that you may always fear the LORD your God.
It's important to know the Bible passages in the proper context, but every verse can be used to encourage us in our own lives. I love this passage because it's so important to remember. We all go through times when we seem to be in a rut, spiritually speaking, but usually those ruts are of our own making. I know I get into those ruts when I don't take the time to really pray each day and when I neglect reading the Word of God. But I think we also get into ruts when we don't take the time to remember all that God has done in our lives.
This is one reason why I love to use a journal. Ideally everyday that I read in the Bible, I'd take time to journal about what I just read. I may not do that, but I do write down other things that are important, like when I prayed about something specific and then the Lord answered. It's important to keep a prayer journal for this reason. It's important to remember so that we can tell our kids and our grandkids about each instance, whether a physical need was answered as a result of prayer or whether it's part of our own testimony.
Our kids need to know. Our grandkids need to know! Other people need to know, as well. I was just telling the story a few days ago about how God has provided miracles in our family. I have so many to share, but one such case was when Jonah was little and having issues with his kidneys. They did scan after scan and the doctors were about 95% sure that he'd been born with just one kidney. It's common in twins for something like that to happen in their little bodies. Jonah was scheduled for some more intensive (and invasive) tests one week and that week on Sunday night before, we were at church and our pastor at the time said that he really felt led to ask if anyone was there that night who needed prayer over a kidney issue. Todd went and got Jonah out of the nursery and we gathered around with our family in the faith and prayed over his little four year old body. Later that week we went back to the doctor and guess what all of a sudden showed up on his ultrasound monitor? A second kidney, where only a shadow had been. (I may not have told this story exactly as it happened, but please know that my intent is pure, though...I've just slept a lot since then and this is how I remember it in my mind.)
God provided that boy a kidney! He would have been fine with just one kidney, of course, but that's not the point—the point is that God provided for Jonah in that prayer service what he needed, so that He would get the glory.
We've shared this with all of our sons and we always make sure that we give God the credit for this and I know it's so that they will know that the Lord's hand is strong and so that they would always fear the Lord their God, just like Joshua 4:24 says. It's important to remember! I was talking to a friend about this the other day and one of us said the words, "But look how far the Lord has brought you! He's not about to leave you now." It's important and it's biblical for us to remember like this.
Your turn! I'd love to hear something God has done in your life. What is your "stone of remembrance"? Thanks for reading along, friends—I pray these words encourage you. Love to all.