So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the Lord your God says. Today you will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites ahead of you. Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River!” – Joshua 3:9-11 NLT
GOD ALWAYS WINS
God tells us everything that we need to succeed. He has a master plan, even though we can’t always see it or know how it is going to unfold. God always wins! Joshua gives the children of Israel a message from God that He is with them as they are about to enter into the Promised Land. Even though they are about to meet opposition, God has already declared that He will drive out the inhabitants that they will encounter.
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” – Joshua 4:4-7 NLT
A REMINDER TO REFLECT ON GOD
God told His people to place twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan River as a remembrance for the Children of Israel and their future generations. In the summer season, when the river was low, the stones would stand tall to remind them to reflect on what God had done for His people in this very spot. And when their children asked about them, their parents would share of the memory of how God stopped the flowing water so that they could cross the Jordan and enter into the Promised Land.
PUTTING UP OUR OWN STONES
Even though the location of this particular pile of stones is unknown and they are no longer visible today, as far as we know, the idea of remembrance resonates in us all. But instead of stones, we tend to use other methods, such as photo albums, journals, trinkets, decorated mantles or shelves, tattoos, etc. These items are memorials that encourage us, inspire us, and help us remember important events, help us reflect on where we came from. The same should be true about God. We should have memorial stones that remind us about God: His goodness, His greatness, His Love, and His Provision. These could be strategically placed Bible Verses, prayer journals, lists of answered prayer requests, pictures of things God has done, or physical objects that represent a vital moment or event where God has been evident in your life. We need these types of memorials to help us trust God when times get tough. Memorial stones are a way to remember what God has done in the past so that we can continue to trust Him in the future. They are not designed to become idols that we worship, but elements that draw us closer to God when we reflect on them in remembrance.
If you haven’t yet set up any memorial stones along the path of your life journey so far, start now by thinking about what God has done for you, those vital moments where you obviously heard His voice or the scary ones where He intervened at the last minute with exactly what you needed. You might be surprised at how vividly you recall His presence and how often He is there! Document it! Put up your stones! Remember and draw near to Him.