Memorial Stones

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.”
- Joshua 4:1-3

I'm what you'd call a "craft-hoarder" of sorts. 
Toilet paper rolls. Bubble wrap. Cardstock. Washi tape. Paint brushes. Soooo many stamps. 
You know, the crafting essentials.
Those are just a few of the random craft supplies I keep in my stash. I've either brought them over from North America, inherited them from missionaries leaving the field or added to my collection while living here. I'm always on the lookout. Always on the search.
The problem? Well, living overseas I only have so much space allotted for these "crafting essentials" of mine.

Space in our luggage.
Space in our closets. 
Space in our apartment. 

My husband reminds me when I bring in more essentials, that the space is running out!
But having those items available, means I have things to available to create masterpieces with.  In our home, my walls are decorated with visual reminder of God's goodness, grace and strength. 

It reminds me. 
It pushes me on.
It sustains me. 

My 2-year old also enjoys collecting things. However, right now his collection is of rocks. He  fills up his trailer with stones and rocks from the yard and tries to sneak them into the house to play with. I had a growing pile of stones collected from Silas' play table, sitting on my desk and it reminded me of the memorial stones mentioned in Joshua 4:4-7,

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.          

Crossing the Jordan River in such remarkable way, wasn't the first time a miracle had taken place before the Israelite's eyes. And yet, the Israelites grumbled and complained as they walked in the desert - despite the Red Sea opening for them, manna raining down from heaven, and perhaps even the walls of Jericho crumbling as they walked and worshiped around it. 

They often forgot the Lord's provision and guidance over their lives. 
This time was going to be different. Joshua 4:8-9 says, 

So, the Israelite's did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelite's, as the Lord had told Joshua, and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood...

They created a memorial. Memorials are often built in honour of a person who has died or an event in which many people died. I'm not talking about that kind of memorial. The memorial Joshua set up honoured the God of miracles in the past, present and future. 

memorial that honours the same God who is still alive and moving. The God who sustains. 

To sustain means to strengthen or support physically or mentally; a source of strength, tower of strength, something that carries, and something to see you through. 

What keeps you going? 
What sustains you? 
Moments where God showed up in a situation? Through comfort? Through intervention?
Through a friends encouraging word? Through His own life-breathing Word? 
Start by naming 12 stones of remembrance in your life and I'm sure you'll come up with more. 

I want to have a whole collection of tangible memories where God made a way.
A hobby of holy proportion. 
A collection that matters. 
Not scraps of paper and fabric, but stones that build faith. 
A firm foundation to stand on. Rocks of reminders of how God has brought me through. 

When I'm feeling discouraged... there are certain moments, certain verses, certain images that bring me back to a place of peace and trust in the One who knows my beginning and end, and all that comes in between. 

And thanks to my Canadian upbringing, I have a song stash of silly songs that will come in handy with my growing little boy. One that undoubtedly comes to mind right now is I Collect Rocks by Canadian singer and song writer, Al Simmons.  

"Now, I collect rocks
I collect rocks
Put em in a bag
Put em in a box
Filling up my pockets
Filling up my socks
I gain weight, every time I take a walk...
From a pebble to a boulder
I can't wait until I'm older
So when I take walks
I can carry more rocks..."

You can thank me later for introducing this timeless song to you (or maybe you won't). I want to move from picking up pebbles to boulders!

I want to be weighted down by all the amazing things God has done in my life. 

I want those memories to be like memorial stones - big, heavy and something that I carry with me. Each day, to see God moving in my life. 

What do your memorial stones look like? 
What sustains you in the difficult times and encourages your faith and trust in God? 
Remember... He is good. He is strong. He is faithful. 
His presence in your life is worth remembering. 



* Linking up with Velvet Ashes on the theme sustain


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