It’s one of those dreary, rainy days that makes me want to stay inside, curled up with a good book and a hot cup of tea.
I wonder if part of the reason that God gives us days like this is to be still? The minutes seem to be in no hurry to tick by on rainy days, and while I often see the rain and slower pace as a disturbance and a frustration, I wonder if instead God desires for us to to use these days to quiet our minds for a little bit, and choose to listen to Him. As I consider what He is wanting to reveal or remind me of today, my mind keeps going back to the importance of stones.
Remember that story about stones in Joshua 4? God commands Joshua to build a memorial with twelve stones to remind generations to come of God’s faithfulness. These stones were taken from the middle of the Jordan river, a river that God dried up so that the Israelites could walk safely across. God told Joshua to make sure that the priests holding the Ark of the Covenant remained in the middle of the river until a chosen man from each of the twelve tribes came and carried out a stone on his shoulder. Once this was done, the priests could finish crossing the Jordan and join the rest of the Israelites on the other side. At that point, once their feet were on high ground, the waters receded.
They took those twelve stones and built a memorial. The end of Joshua 4 closes with these words from Joshua himself,
“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.”
What a powerful image:
all displayed in a stack of stones on the side of the Jordan River. What stands out to me the most in this passage is that those stones were from the middle of the river. In the midst of his plan, before they saw the completion of His faithfulness, they were obedient and took time to walk between those walls of water to take up a stone. It was not until the twelve men holding the stones, and the priests, carrying the Ark of the Covenant, reached high ground, that God allowed the waters to resume in the river.
They built a memorial with stones taken out of obedience before the final picture was seen. Do I do that? Or do I wait to give God glory until I’m safe on dry ground? In the midst of confusion and fear, do I trust that God is in control and take time to bring with me a “stone of remembrance” to help remind generations that will come after me of God’s faithfulness? What does that practically look like?
When God clearly calls you into a new chapter, it so often is exciting and full of hope and anticipation at the beginning. Then, before you know it, He is asking you to trust Him in ways you may have never trusted Him before. With relationships, with security, with the future, with the past…He is leading you through a river. But when you look down, instead of rushing water, you are on dry ground! At that moment, when the Holy Spirit reminds your soul that you are loved, cared for, a part of God’s great plan, take a moment to bring a “stone” with you! Copy down that verse that He used to give you calm amidst chaos, take a picture of that sunset that spoke peace to your heart, write out those words of assurance that the Lord spoke to you in the quietness of your soul on an actual stone!
This “stone of remembrance” will serve as a reminder of God’s faithfulness. God knows we need these reminders, otherwise He wouldn’t have commanded that memorial to be built. And this is just one of the many memorials that is recorded throughout the scriptures. Again and again these places of remembrances were constructed to remind generation after generation of God’s faithfulness.
Don’t lose sight. Don’t forget all the times He has been faithful. In the midst of a storm, those “stones” will draw your face back up to the one who is in control, the one who loves you, and the one who will lead you through on dry ground.