When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
We are forgetful. We experience a miraculous or momentous event, claiming we’ll never forget God’s presence and intervention, but then our circumstances take a turn or we enter a season of suffering and struggle and suddenly we forget God’s faithfulness. We forget what God is capable of and we lose hope. This is nothing new. When God stopped the flow of the Jordan River to allow his people to cross into the Promised Land, he knew that over time, they would forget that he had intervened. So, he instructed the Israelites to build a memorial to commemorate what he had done. Then, for generations to come, whenever anyone saw the memorial, they would be prompted to ask what happened there. A key aspect of living an invitational life is our ability to share what God has done in our lives. To do that, we need to remember.
- Reflect on a time you were aware of God’s presence in a miraculous or remarkable way. What “stones” do you have to help you remember that encounter? (Maybe it’s a keepsake or a song; maybe it’s a person you were with or a particular place). How do you feel when you recall God’s intervention in your life?
- Use a timeline to map out when each of your most significant encounters with God happened. What “stone” or keepsake might help you to remember each encounter?
- How would you describe one or two of the encounters you included on your timeline to a friend if they asked, “What happened here?”
God, thank you for the ways you have intervened in my life whether I’ve been aware or not. Thank you that you are mindful of me. What a miracle! Help me to remember and commemorate the moments you have made your presence known in a unique way. Show me where you’ve been at work and enable me to tell your story through my own. Amen.