The Hope Found In Stones

September is a big month around here. Already this month, we’ve celebrated the birthdays of Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Revive Our Hearts. All this talk of birthdays and anniversaries has me thinking about boulders. You read that right. Let me explain.

In Joshua 4, we find the people of Israel celebrating a special day of their own. Under the leadership of Joshua, the people crossed over the Jordan on their way to the Promised Land. God gave a gigantic display of His power and glory by making a way for the people of Israel to cross the river on dry land. That’s where the boulders come in:

When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them in the place where you lodge tonight’” (vv. 2--3).

What was the purpose of the stones? They weren’t for a wall; there were only twelve of them, after all. And they weren’t magic rocks—all the power and wonder in this story came straight from God. They were a monument to the goodness of God:

And Joshua said to them . . . “When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever” (vv. 5--7).

The ReviveOurHearts.com archives contain a thought-provoking broadcast by Nancy Leigh DeMoss on the power of memorials. You can read the whole transcript here. I love how Nancy describes this particular memorial:

“This set of stones, this memorial, would be a constant reminder of what they had experienced. It would encourage and strengthen their hearts as they faced battles in the days ahead. It would remind them, ‘God did it before; God can do it again.’”

Birthdays, holidays, and special occasions are wonderful, but I wonder if we tend to mark our lives by the wrong milestones. What would we discover if we were intentional about memorializing those junctures in our lives when God showed up and did something magnificent?

As a former teacher, part of me wants to solidify every lesson with a homework assignment. Here’s your task: Go find some rocks, and mark them with reminders of the times in your life where God’s hand was clearly shown. One rock might be devoted to the moment you felt your heart stirred to accept Him as your Savior. One rock represent a time when you felt His presence in the midst of despair, loneliness, or loss. One rock might be marked by a time when your circumstances could only be explained by a supernatural God at work.

I’ve included a picture of my rocks above. They may not look like the markers by which a life would usually be measured, and they certainly aren’t testaments to what I am able to do on my own. But they are my reminders that, “God did it before; God can do it again.”


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