I recently read Joshua 4:4-24 – the story of the people of Israel entering the Promised Land by crossing the Jordan River.
Once the Jordan parted, Joshua instructed 12 men from the 12 tribes to take 12 stones out of the river and erect them on the other side so that it would be a memorial to the people of what God had done that day.
These ‘stones’ (the text says they carried them on their shoulder, so they were fairly large stones!!) were to be a reminder, so that when the children would ask their parents, “why is there a pile of stones here” their parents would recount God’s incredible miracle in getting the people of Israel across the Jordan into the Promised Land.
This made me think about how I remember God’s work in my life.
Too often, I can quickly forget about the things God does for me, especially the everyday things. I pray for help for a tough day or a difficult meeting, and then all goes well, or I feel peace during the day, or the meeting goes fine, I get home, say a quick thank you and then its gone – forgotten, until the next difficult day or meeting or problem.
What the reading from Joshua did was challenge me with this question “what stones have I laid down so that I might remember the things God has done for me.” We need to lay down ‘stones’ (not necessarily literal stones!!) that will help us remember God’s work in our lives, both individually and as a church so that when we face hard times, or tough decisions
We can look back at those ‘stones’ and remember how faithful God was in bringing us through that difficult or challenging time.
I have found two things helpful in doing this. The first is to keep some type of journal where you write down the things God has done for you. It does not need to be written in EVERY day, but if you get into the habit of writing down the small blessings that God gives us during a week we will soon have some wonderful ‘stones’ to look back on when we need encouragement.
The second thing we can do is to get into the habit of giving a testimony to others about what God has done in our lives.
When we share with each other what God has done for us, we are encouraging each other in the things of God and we may even be blessing someone who may be going through something similar.
A few weeks ago I said in church that I would love for people to be willing to give a testimony during the announcements of how God may have worked or blessed them during the week. I want to encourage you again to let me know if you would like to share something.
God is moving and working and blessing us here at Christ the Saviour in many different ways, individually and as a body. When we remember those blessings and share them with people we can encourage each other with how God is moving. These become our memorials to God’s work in our life and in the life of the community.
So lets start laying down our ‘stones’ in order to remember the work of God in our life – both big and small!!