I asked him if I could talk about our story. I didn’t have to ask, but I always do. Always a “sure!” but this time his answer was different. Barely looking up, he questioned why and told me it was an old story.
The spiritual discipline of being in God’s Word has helped my thoughts instantly find their way to scripture. This time wasn’t any different and immediately I was recalling Joshua, the crossing of the Jordan and the stones laid in remembrance.
In the Old Testament, you will find a miraculous story of God’s people being brought through the Jordan River on dry ground into the Promised Land. To mark this moment, God instructed Joshua to have the people gather stones from the riverbed and place them as a sign for what God had done for His people that day.
Prior to this, we see the crossing through the Red Sea and God’s people quickly forgetting the faithfulness of the Lord and focusing on the reality of their current struggles.
As much as I can think they were ridiculous to even forget such an event, how easily I am reminded of this sort of spiritual amnesia in our lives today.
That afternoon, I laid across his chest and reminded him how thankful I was for our story. I reminded him of the bondage we once found ourselves in, our wandering, and the trek across dry ground to the promises of God. He smiled and knew it was worth celebrating!
His favorite dinner… brownies and ice cream. It was a good, good day. Worth remembering.
God instructed His people to remember. Maybe because they so easily had forgotten. The word “remember” can be found around 150 times throughout the Old and New Testament. I believe God knew we would need reminding.
When much time had passed and the story lost its splendor, they would need to remember God’s hand at work in their lives. And so He told them to gather stones and lay them in remembrance. When their children would ask, they were to tell the story of God’s faithfulness.
So, how do we avoid this trap of spiritual amnesia? With no literal walls of water to recall, or actual stones taken from a dry riverbed, how do we avoid spiritual amnesia? We remember. We lay stones of remembrance?
1. We read scripture.
We anchor every day in God’s promises by being in His word and learning of His faithfulness throughout time. Read the stories, hide them in your heart. When you are faced with opposition, let His truths bring wisdom, encouragement, and discernment to help you move forward and not get lost in the wandering.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16
2. We write it down.
We are human and live in a busy world. The moment we get through one thing, we are on to the next. Take time to journal. Slow down long enough to write it down. Record the moment, your fears, your heart, and God’s part in it all. Where did you struggle? Where did you see Him at work? What are you giving to Him?
When the time has long passed, you can revisit your words and they will be like water to dry bones.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3-4
3. We share our story.
Every year at bedtime, the kids find their way to our bed. By this time there has been a good bit of remembering and celebrating. Their little minds are spinning and working to put together questions to help them understand. I tell them the stories… Andy laying quietly off to the side, listening. I tell them the stories. Details. The good, the bad, the crazy, the scary, and even the funny parts. My heart swells to see them soak it all up. I trust the Lord is laying stones of remembrance. I trust seeds are being planted in their tender hearts of God’s promises.
“He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.” Joshua 4: 21-24
4. We are grateful.
After the great Exodus, we see how the Israelites begin to complain about their current situation. Some even thought it would be best to go back to the bondage from which they were delivered. I believe when we lose focus, we assume an ungrateful heart and that will lead to grumbling, bitterness, and complaining. Being thankful and having a grateful heart helps us to remember what God has done in our lives.
“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalms 9:1
5. We celebrate the victories.
Here in the South, we are all about celebrating, gathering around food, feasting with friends and turning moments into traditions. Traditions allow us to not only look forward to a special time but they remind us of moments worth celebrating. Gather your people and lay stones of remembrance by celebrating the victories. Share about God’s goodness and bring glory to His Name!
I remember Andy’s one-year anniversary… I called all our family and friends who had been such a source of strength during that season and ask them to join me for a surprise celebration. I knew they experienced the victory as well and so we gathered to celebrate our first “Praise-The-Lord-Party” together. Every year we gather, feast and celebrate.
God removed addiction from my dad’s life over twenty years ago, praise GOD! On his first year of sobriety, I gave him a pocket knife engraved with the date. Every year since I have continued this gift. It is a reminder of a powerful and refining season in his life and my families. A time when God removed and cut away worldly things that were hindering him from being the man of God he was purposed to be. Traditions. And a lot of knives… (all the praise hands)
The enemy wants us to forget. We must remember.
We read the Bible and learn about God’s promises and His faithfulness to His people. We write our own stories down to pass on and share with others. We give thanks and leave little to no room for grumbling. We celebrate the victories and remember the moments. With each act, we lay stones of remembrance. God’s faithfulness is etched throughout our lives and the legacy we leave points to His mighty hand.
When the enemy tries to whisper that these moments, your stories are old, commonplace… you REMEMBER!
Click the image below to download this lock screen as a daily reminder to
lay stones of remembrance!