A Memorial of God’s Faithfulness: Joshua 4

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God's faithfulnessWe’ve all heard the miraculous story of how God pushed back the water of The Jordan River and the Israelites walked across on dry land into their long-awaited Promised Land of Canaan. Only God can turn an ocean into a major highway.

But, what I want to draw your attention to is what happened after the army of Israelites got across the Jordan River.

In Joshua 4:1-4, God gave Joshua instructions to choose 12 men, one from each tribe to take a stone and carry it back out into the place where the priests were still standing in the middle of the Jordan River. They were to pile the stones up as a monument.

Verses 6-7 tells the purpose of the monument: “In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What is this monument for,’ you can tell them it is to remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the ark of the covenant went across. The monument will be a permanent reminder to the people of Israel of this amazing miracle.”

How can this monument of stones be significant to us today?

First of all, I believe that it is important that our children and grandchildren know what God has done in our lives. Telling them things He has brought us through should increase their faith.

Second of all, “What about, shall we say, ‘the new trials’ that we continue to face? As you know, just because the Israelites miraculously crossed the Jordan River, life wasn’t easy for them in their new land. They faced walled cities, and of course, had war with the Philistines many times.

Oh yes, God helped them, but in between the great acts of God, the people lived in a real world. and they often got discouraged in between the powerful acts of God.

In his book, You Were Made For More, Jim Cymbala, summed their predicament up this way:

These Israelites who stood on the banks of the Jordan River after a great miracle, will experience times when they will not be able to see by their present experiences that God is God at all. There will be times when they will not be sure if God is present among them. There will be times of no miracles. There will be times when their world is thrown into such chaos that they will be able to see no future at all.

It is those times, they will need a reference point. They will need to be able to look at that pile of stones by the Jordan River and say, “We are not sure right now about God’s presence, but we know for certain that God is God because this pile of stones bears witness to Him.”

What about you, my friend? What did you experience in 2015 that might have left you discouraged? Perhaps you had a loved one to die, faced financial losses, or experienced a divorce, to name a few losses.

Perhaps you are at that point in your life that you are not able to see by your present circumstance that God is beside you. Oh yes, I have been there.

I encourage you today, before you try to go forward in defeat, look back and remember from where God has brought you, and the many miraculous things He has done in the past for you.

As a symbolic reminder of this, why not find a stone (or any object) to place on your desk or your bedside that can be used to remind you of God’s faithfulness in the past.

Sometimes, we just need a reference point like the stones at the Jordon River to look back in the past of God’s faithfulness, that will move us forward into the future.

My granddaughter and favorite illustrator, Hannah, want to wish you a Happy New Year and may blessings come your way in 2016.


A Memorial of God’s Faithfulness: Joshua 4 — 7 Comments

  1. 2015 was probably the most difficult time of my life. My marriage ended, I moved from my home I grew up in and my son had to move across the country. As hard as this time was, God always showed up. My memorial stone are a mug that was given to me by a friend who took the time to come visit me from Pennsylvania. I only knew her from an online ministry that supports women going through a divorce. The mug says “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Another one is a bracelet I got from Martha, with a small cross dangle and a crystal dangle.It’s beautiful, and the crystals remind me that there is beauty to be found even in the most dire of circumstances.

  2. Lynette, for sure, you had a lot to deal with in 2015. However, you are able to see God’s faithfulness in the midst of it. I love how you even have objects around just like the stones the Israelites had to remind you of how God moved in your life. It brought tears to my eyes. Blessings to you in 2016.

  3. This graphic is fantastic. She may have a future in commercial art.

    If people can be reminder stones, i have my God children as evidence of God’s comfort for my not having children.

    For some topics, i suspect that i am still in the Jordan. But He is holding the waters back.

  4. Thanks for your comment about Hannah. I confess we gave her a little help with the sky, but she is quite the little artist. I will tell her people are noticing her illustrations to encourage her. Oh I believe we can use people as an object—what a wonderful reminder to you of God’s comfort. I am sure you show them much love. Your last sentence—-you do have a way with words, Teresa. Always enjoy reading things you write. Be blessed in 2016.

  5. Martha here: The following is a story from a classmate of mine that he posted on facebook in regards to God’s Record of faithfulness. His name is Sam Mills from Donalsonville, Georgia. I post it because it is such an inspirational story of seeking God’s own heart for directions, as well as God’s faithfulness in the midst of his wife’s illnees. Would you take a moment to read the story and then leave him an encouraging word and above all, pray for he and his wife’s next step in their journey.

    God’s Record
    This a.m. I published a post in which I stated that “God’s record speaks for itself.” Martha Bush sent me a message and asked that I comment on that remark in order to share with others.
    Anyone who has read my book Syrup, Biscuits and Sow Belly would know that I and people around me have been placed in peril on quite a few occasions. Each time there was a happy ending. God has been looking over my shoulder for a long time.
    In 2008 when Connie was diagnosed with cognitive disorder, I actively sought out God’s help and guidance. He got us started out with a good family Dr. who sent us to a neurologist, who referred us to a better neurologist, who advised us to get a good diagnosis at Mayo and Shand’s clinics. Alzheimer’s was the dreaded diagnosis.
    So there I was with the most important person in my life in a serious life-threatening situation. Other than a couple of maintenance drugs that hid the symptoms and delayed the inevitable there was nothing the medical profession could do.
    Going to the internet to learn about Alzheimer’s was my first action. Doing nothing was not an alternative. Whatever fight that could be fought we were going to fight it to the end. Discouraged that most patients die within seven years of diagnosis, I knew that I had to act quickly. There were articles indicating that tremendous research was going on to find a cure for the malady. There were predictions of cures within five years; this was in 2010.
    God’s guidance kicked in, and I was told to pursue a clinical trial to help with the research and to hopefully be involved in developing a cure. At the time the sources of info on clinical trials came from two sources: the Alzheimer’s Association and a website, clinicaltrials.gov. The Alzheimer’s Association was quite helpful with advice. The website was not well maintained at the time and had old, outdated information on clinical studies.
    Having to fight discouragement and a feeling of wandering in the woods, I steadfastly kept my eyes on the target. After a few months, I focused on a clinical trial in Decatur, GA with God’s guidance.
    The clinic doctor, who owned the clinic, told me there was a study that he was managing for Eli Lilly which was testing a drug called Bapeneuzamab. Unfortunately, or fortunately, Connie couldn’t get in the study because she possessed a gene that was unwanted for participants. Frustrated because the test drug had some good publicity, I wondered what to do. God told me to listen to the doctor. The doctor stated that they also were managing a clinical study for Genentech which was testing a drug called Crenuzamab. The gene she possessed was not a limitation on getting into the study. Struggling, I listened carefully to the doctor for advice and he said to go into the study because “Genentech makes some cool drugs.” I went home and thought about it over the weekend and called Monday to tell them we would participate. We started in December, 2011.
    In a few months Eli Lilly stopped their study of Bapeneuzamab due to lack of good results. God had helped us dodge a bullet and put us on a better track.
    The test drug Connie has been receiving for the last four years has some merit. It was chosen among twenty-five competing drugs to be used in a study in South America to learn its preventive capabilities. The doctor told me that the drug was blocking about 40% of injurious plaque from entering her brain. This has bought us time.
    In late 2014 the clinic told us that they were ending the study in early 2015. Then a few weeks later they told us the study had been extended to early 2016 because their approach of using monoclonal antibodies was being tried by several other drug companies. One company had reported recent successes and had skipped phase II of their study and went on to phase III, an uncommon practice.
    When we review the above “maize” we have been wondering through for the last seven years, there can be no denial of God’s guidance and involvement. There were so many opportunities for wrong choices to be made, but He kept us on a path. I pray to him every night and ask for his help and guidance and to provide me the health and strength to lead Connie through this.
    Yesterday at the clinic we were told that this study is ending, and we will be talking in March about which clinical trial Connie should participate in next. A few months back the doctor told me that Genentech has a drug that has been tested on a small basis that removes plaque from the brain. This would be a gift from Heaven. I asked that we participate in the trial. He did not say no at the time. I don’t know which trial we will be in but feel that God will choose the right one. And yes, His track record does stand for itself.
    Connie has moderate level Alzheimer’s. We still have a lot of fun and enjoy life. Whatever God has for us next, we look forward to it. Praise to His Grace.

  6. I love the story in Joshua and often use it when I speak about why we should follow our dreams or the call of God we have on our lives. It’s to leave a legacy for generations to come. “When your children ask” is a reminder that what you do today is really not about you at all, but about the legacy you are building. Love it!

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