Memorial Stones

Memorial Stones

In Joshua 4, the story is recounted of Joshua leading the children of Israel across the Jordan River. God rolled the waters back for them to walk safely across, just as He did for the Israelites when they crossed the Red Sea. As they were crossing, Joshua instructed each of the twelve tribes of Israel to take one stone as a memorial of what God had done. When they were safely on dry land, Joshua 4:20-24 tells us this:


And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over,  so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”


I have my own memorial stones in my life, not necessarily physical ones, but events and answers to prayers which remind me of the greatness and goodness of God in my life. There have been so many moments along the way, both big and small.


When I was in my 30’s, we found ourselves leaving a ministry and home we loved, with no certainty of what lay ahead. In the midst of it all, my father-in-law had a heart attack and died at age 54. Yet when I look in my Bible, the notes in the margins of the book of Psalms remind me that God was always in control, comforting us, caring for us, and eventually leading us to exactly what He had planned. A memorial stone.


When I was in my 40’s, I was suddenly on my own with two daughters. I needed not only a home, but some hope. I showed up at an open house and the real estate agent, Shirley, shared some simple words. “It will get better.” I have never forgotten her, even though I never saw her again. God had sent her to get me through the day and probably the next day. Even though my life changed dramatically, it did get better. A memorial stone.


When my oldest daughter was graduating from college, she didn’t know what was next. God provided in such a big way for her. Her heavenly Father not only healed her heart but continued to meet her every need. A memorial stone.


When my youngest daughter struggled with a job that was hard and a commute that was long, God opened the door for her to work in a place that she loved, with the added bonus of being able to walk to work. It was a reminder that His timing is perfect and He can be trusted. A memorial stone.


One major event that comes to my mind occurred in 2011. My husband, Guy, was hit by a car while driving home from work on his motorcycle. Although he spent a few days in the trauma unit with a punctured lung, nine broken ribs and a messed-up arm, the bigger test was yet to come. Two months later and due to the initial tests that were taken at the time of his accident, a cancerous mass was discovered. Before we knew it, there was a surgery date and pending chemotherapy. Throughout the seven months that he was off work and recovering at home, God provided in every way and the body of Christ rallied around us with acts of love. A memorial stone.


Perhaps you need some memorial stones in your life today, reminders of God’s constant faithfulness when days are long, circumstances are hard, or your future looks uncertain. Reminding ourselves of what God has done in the past keeps us faithful today and most hopeful about tomorrow, no matter what. Reminders need to be more than strings tied to our fingers. They need to be truths permanently written in the deepest parts of our hearts.