We’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.