Monday, February 6, 2017

Stones of Remembrance

A tradition in the Old Testament that has often intrigued me is God's people setting up stones to remember what He has done for them.  A favorite story about this is found in Joshua 4, when God parts the waters for the Jordan for His people as they finally by faith enter His Promised Land.  After crossing, a member of each tribe is to go back, take a stone from what was one the bottom of the flooded Jordan, and then use it to make an altar to God on their new side of the river.  The pile of stones is to be used to teach future generations of God's work on His people's behalf.

This story always calls my heart to dig through the bottoms and take up a stone that He has uncovered so that I can remember His hand at work.  He does mighty work.  We see that again and again.  And He has done mighty work in your life.  I encourage you to take some time and either look for your stones or take a moment to examine the pile you have already made.  And then I encourage you to share your pile with someone else so they can know His work.  I have loved considering this with a friend, and I suspect if you both share, you will both spend some time worshipping our mighty God.

All that brings me to want to share some thoughts I had while waiting to find out news about my biopsy.  I woke up in the night and my thoughts turned to our waiting.  And then my mind drifted to this song-  "All the Way My Savior Leads Me."  I knew part of it, but wanted to know the lyrics, so I reached for my phone.  I plugged the title into YouTube and the first video listed was the one I share below.

Now many would have passed this one by for the versions by Chris Tomlin or Rich Mullins (which I also love), but God had a little gift for me.  You see, when I was in Jr High and just starting to know God for myself, my parents introduced me to some cassettes by the Haven of Rest Quartet.  There was something about "I'm Yours, Lord" that called to me.  Every day as I rode the bus to school, I wore headsets and listened to a quartet singing to God.  A little odd, maybe, but God was at work.

That night as I heard those voices singing those lyrics, God invited me to spend some time looking at my stones.  It was a sweet time that reminded me of His goodness and His faithfulness.  See, He drew an ordinary young girl to Himself through her family.  He used a small church family to pour His love and Word into her.  He used many teachers to help unfold her personality and plant seeds of vision of how He might one day use her.  He surrounded her with sweet friends.  He placed mentors in her life who would model for her how to follow Christ day in and day out, to show what that looked like at work and in the home.  He took her step by step through the awkward growing up years and led the way to stepping out with Him on her own.  He gently taught her about disappointment and about allowing Him to change the plan. He gave her people to serve and love and teach.  He gave her a dear husband to teach her what it meant to truly love another and to be loved as Christ loved her.  He taught her that He was in control even when life wasn't turning out to look like her dreams and there was loss.  He gave her additional friends and mentors who cheered her on and challenged her. He gave Her children to show her what it meant to serve selflessly and to be loved with abandon.  He brought her through more circumstances in which He showed that He was not only in control of her life, but He was kind and could be trusted even when it hurt.  He gave her joyful relationships in which she saw Him work in and through her to help others one know Him more.  He showered her time and time again with beauty and blessings.

Do you have stones of remembrance in your life?  When was the last time you looked at them?  I guarantee if you take the time, you will end up worshipping God as you gaze at your pile, because the line in the hymn is true, "For I know that what're befall me, Jesus doeth all things well!"

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