Friday, October 16, 2015

Standing Stones

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Some people are exceptionally good at remembering things, and some, well, not so much. I travel quite a bit and it is easy to forget places and events on those trips. So I take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures! They help me to remember the experiences, which have brought great joy to my life. Likewise, I don’t want to forget God’s goodness. That is all too common among Christ followers, even for those with the sharpest minds.

Since we are prone to forget, it is necessary to make what I like to call STANDING STONES in our lives. A standing stone is something that can be seen or handled that represents a special event. 

A good example of what I’m talking about is found in the book of Joshua. The Children of Israel were about to enter Jericho. Israel had a small, inexperienced army and Jericho was a well fortified city. They needed God’s help to overcome the odds. 

First, God provided a miraculous path, a dry path through the Jordan River, just as He had given them at the Red Sea. It must have been a great encouragement for them to have a tangible expression of God’s strength and presence just prior to the battle to come. 

But God also knew human nature. He knew how prone we are to forget. So He had them to pick up stones, twelve of them to represent each tribe. They were to build an altar with these stones as a reminder of God’s help and deliverance. Then later, when asked what the stones represent, they could recite their blessing. 

There’s an old hymn that says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” Can you recall all the blessings of God in your life? I know I can’t. But over the years, I’ve erected standing stones, reminders of God’s presence: photos, journals, objects…each intended to spark a memory of God’s goodness. 

At the church I pastor, we have put a jar in a prominent place on the platform of the sanctuary. We have strips of paper there where people can write about an answered prayer. The strips are then placed in the jar so that all who attend our services can see how God is at work in our church family. 

Standing stones. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to start erecting them. Find creative ways to remember the Lord’s involvement in your life. When you see them, and remember what they stand for, you will be more thankful.

And Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, “What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”  Joshua 4:5-7

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