Lessons from the Stones
by Carol Yasin
Hello friends!! how are you doing? How is your busy life? It’s been so long I posted a blog in my site as my little one is growing and she always keeps me busy with her little world. Being a mom is an adventure and we learn a lot from the kids!
Today I thought of posting something in my blog and so, I was waiting for my daughter to keep her dad busy today and at last now, I have got some time to share something with you which I have been writing for so long and keep designing. Yes, I am happy to say that my eBook titled ‘Winning your battle – An insight from the Book of Joshua’ is at the last stage of designing and hopefully, will be releasing it soon. I thank The Lord Almighty for equipping the broken useless thrown vessel to write something for His glory and for His glory alone.
Whenever I log into my Facebook account, it shows the memories – memories that has happened during the previous years on the same date. I was thinking and thanking God for all the things He has done in our life and as I was pondering about these ‘memories’, I thought I can share a chapter from my upcoming eBook which explains about these memories and what is the need of that. I hope, this would help you and thank God through your memories and also, this serves as a memory to remind you to pray for the release of the book as well. And here it is, a chapter from yet to be published eBook, ‘Winning Your Battle’.
Memory – without which the world may collapse sometimes. If we don’t remember our traffic rules, we might end up in an accident. If we don’t remember how to walk, we might not be able to go to the place where we have to. Remembering things in our life is very important.
What do you do when God does a miracle in your life or when He blesses you abundantly? We hardly notice what God has done in our lives or we fail to acknowledge Him. In the last chapter, we read how God helped the people of Israel to miraculously cross over the River Jordan. It was a very big day for them. They were wandering in the desert for 40 years and have seen an entire generation dying in the wilderness for their disbelief and disobedience. Now, it is the new generation that has crossed the River Jordan and ready to conquer the land that God had promised. And there lies a land which God has promised them before their eyes. They might have shouted and praised God as it was their first step into their home.
God gave certain instructions to Joshua while crossing the river Jordan which calls an important lesson for us too.
Let us look into the verses from Joshua 4: 1-3 (NIV),
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.”
A question arises why God is asking to take those twelve stones? Why does He want to do such things? The answer to this question lies in verse 6, which says,
that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’
God wants them to have a sign for the things that had happened. But why? He wants them to remember what He has done in their life. Immediately, Joshua ordered the people and he sent twelve men back to the riverbed of Jordan and asked them to carry the twelve stones.
The Ark of the Covenant remained in the river until everything was finished as the Lord had commanded them. When everything was done and the Ark was brought out of the river, God relaxed His grip on the water and the river again flooded.
What does these stones means to us? Everything in the Bible teaches us something related to our life and these stones too teaches us some valuable lessons! If God asks us to do something, it is not going to end up in vain. These stones had a meaningful purpose. This is what God asked the children of Israel to do with these stones – When the Israelites made their stop to camp at night, they took these stones and stacked them up and created a memorial.
When we look back at the history of Israelites, they have seen many such miracles done by God, yet they failed to trust and obey God. So now, crossing the Jordan, being a new start for them after 40 years, God wants them to set a memorial, so that it serves as an evidence for the next generation.
Here are few things which we need to remember from those stones:
IT REMINDS US ABOUT GOD:
Look at the verses from 22 to 24 in Joshua chapter 4,
then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
When the Israelites see these stacked stones, they would remember that they didn’t cross the river Jordan on their own, but God supernaturally made them cross-over. We ought to always remember that whenever we were in trouble, and when we had overcome it, it was neither our wisdom nor money nor might that helped us to come out of it. It was He who delivered us from the trouble we were facing. Whenever they see these stones, they would remember, “God did this. By His power and faithfulness, we have crossed the river.”
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)
IT REMINDS US ABOUT OUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD:
When God does an amazing thing in our life, we marvel at what He has done and we praise Him. However, when we are in difficult path again, we tend to forget God and sometimes, we even get upset at Him doubting His existence. We get discouraged and start doubting Him. God allows us to undergo the ‘desert’ experience through which we actually get so close to Him.
Here, God asks us to set a spiritual memorial – a marker, where we can return during our tough times and get renewed in our faith. When we remember the things He has done in our life, we will start trusting Him more. He has been faithful to us in our past and thus, He will be the same today and forever, as He is the unchanging God. God asked the Children of Israel to set up the rock piles that day so that they can come to the place and remember the ‘Great Day’ when they crossed the River Jordan in a dry land.
How can we set our markers today? We live in the era where we have advanced technologies giving us so many options. We can write it down or we can have a soft copy typed in our computer or we can have a bible mark or ‘a verse to remember the day’ hanging on a wall. I have the habit of writing it down with the date and time and read it whenever I feel low in spirit. Believe me! It really helps and boosts me up.
IT REMINDS US ABOUT OUR FAMILY:
Joshua 4:6-7 (NIV),
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.”
These stones functioned as a teaching tool for the next generation. These stones were to ensure that those stories continue to be told to the next generations for them to grow in faith. This is an important teaching to all the parents to pass on their faith to the next generation. This is our responsibility.
Have you ever discussed your faith with your children? Have you told them the great things that God has done in your life? We never share those things within our family but spend hours sharing it with others. Sharing it with others is important but at the same time, we need to discuss with our family members too. We don’t do that, as we haven’t grown up seeing such things or we are afraid to share some things within our family or sharing it with them makes us accountable to be the ‘right person’ as they watch us more than anyone else. It sometimes hurts, when sometimes we share things with our family and they don’t reciprocate, as they consider us as the same ‘old’ person and never bother to see the change in us.
When I got saved, it was very difficult for me to share my testimony within my family as they couldn’t see the change immediately and thought I am the same ‘Old’ natured person. But, sharing our faith and things what God has done is a worthy practice.
The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 (NLT),
Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it.
IT IS TO REMIND OTHERS:
that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
The stones were kept in a public place, such that the passers-by will know how God helped His people cross the river. Everyone who sees the stones will be reminded of His power. Miracles are not primarily for us but they are for God to proclaim His power. When He does great things in our life, everyone will see the power and love of God through us.
Jesus asks us to be the light of the world in Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT),
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Dear friends, you may be facing a difficult situation today. Remind yourself of the mighty acts of God. Remember His power and faithfulness in your past. The God who has done great things in the past is the same today and He can do the same things today in your life. God has pulled out some stones out of your lives which remain as reminders. They are the ‘Faith Builders’ and use them as building blocks of your future. Be careful not to forget those and keep sharing it with your family and others.
“Remember today and forever the mighty acts of God.” He Who has done it before and will do it again.