I’ve got a terrible memory. I struggle with details. My past thoughts seem more like a movie trailer… highlights in random order. This drives me crazy sometimes, especially when I am really wanting to remember and anchor a season. But, there are moments that we say we never want to forget. If you are like me, you’ve found yourself not only taking a visual image of a moment but a mental picture as well. We want to remember don’t we? Especially the good.
I can’t believe it has been five years. That night my world changed and I knew I would never be the same. I could never forget. I knew the magnitude of the moment. I wanted to be certain to remember every detail and so I wrote it down. Late into the night, at our table, I poured out my heart on pages and began to lay stones of remembrance.
You know the Israelites forgot. How could one forget that the Lord split the seas? It just doesn’t even seem possible, but there it is, recorded in His story. God’s people freed and removed from centuries of bondage and placed on a path to the Promised Land by way of DRY land. What a magnificent deliverance! What a moment! Yet, quickly we see their response of praise and rejoicing shift to grumbling and complaint. Hard to imagine. So easily they forgot. Our faith must be stronger than the things we see and do not see.
Failing to believe in God’s faithfulness kept the Israelites lost in the wilderness. When we finally decide to put faith in the promises of God, we begin to see the clear path He sets before us. No more wilderness wandering.
Forty years and now the Promised Land before them, they were crossing the Jordan.
God had given them the great Exodus through the sea and once again would bring promised Hope through water on dry ground. Another miracle. So God instructed His people to gather stones from the riverbed and set them as a sign to remember.
As Andy and I walked away from one another late that evening I felt it was our trek through the waters. In that moment, when things seemed impossible, He made a way. God parted the seas, stop the flowing waters and showed us the path across the dry riverbed. Leaving a life of wandering and stepping into a promised land, a promised future.
We were tired and weary. It had been a season of confusion, darkness and deep valleys. Addiction had a hold and our marriage was nearly over. But that night He made a way. Memories from a moment I never thought I would see… just like the stones in the riverbed. Stones impossible to see without faith.
Our photograph, he kissed the babies goodbye with faith to return changed. A stone.
That night, I walked away, hardest thing ever. Collapsing at His feet, I grasped a stone as He picked me up and placed it deep in my heart. Never to forget. This was the moment I laid it all down.
Sharing this story, another stone from that riverbed. A part of our past made possible through God.
Our marriage, a stone to daily remind us to have faith and stand firm.
This story, your story, our stories, they are stones to remind us of God’s faithfulness to His people.
The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they encamped at Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:19-24
Our stories are important, by sharing them we lay stones of remembrance. Never to forget. Do not allow what God has done and is doing for you and your family become commonplace. Lay stones of remembrance and when your children ask, “What is so special about today?”. You sit them down and you tell them about the time you walked across dry ground.