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.” (Joshua 4:4-7)
On Sunday morning (July 15, 2007) we had a family devotional before heading out for the day in Alabama (where we met Kevin for the weekend). This is the scripture the Lord gave Kevin to share with us. Imagine the faith it took to take that first step, and then to walk across. Imagine the excitement AND fear that ran through their minds. Imagine how safe and blessed they felt when they made it across on dry land. Imagine going back and picking up a stone as God continued to hold the water back.
I can only catch a glimpse of what that must have been like. We're not crossing the river Jordan, but I believe we feel some of what the Israelites must have felt as they walked closer and closer to the water's edge. What will it be like over there? How will life be different? Will we endure pain and hardships? Will our children be happy? What if it's not what we envisioned? What if our children and their children don't continue to tell the story of how God blessed us? What if...
What if we're not faithful to the Lord and do what He asks of us? That's the only question that really lingers in my mind. I don't want to be found unfaithful. I want to build memorials and tell my children, grand-children (some day) and great-grandchildren (much, much later in life) all that the Lord has done. I want praise the Lord and glorify Him for all He has done and for the Mighty God that He is. So, I'm gathering stones. Not literally (although that might be a good idea), but through journaling. I'm jotting down all that God is showing us and the blessings we've received. I want to walk through the river with the Lord and, no matter what the outcome, be found faithful.
We have stones that we are pulling from this experience in our lives that serve as reminders to us that God is with us. One, the trip I made to be with Kevin two weeks ago - God allowed us to be together. He provided the money for me to go. Two, the trip we made this last weekend. Again, God provided. My car was fixed and cost me very little. Three, our oldest two were able to get off work and go with us. Even though my car is small, and we were a little cramped, we had a wonderful time together. It was a huge blessing to have that time with them and meant a lot to all of us to be together. We see God's hand in everything we are going through. He is right here beside us, bringing comfort and peace, joy and blessings. We're building a memorial as a family, and it's something I wouldn't trade for the world.