“So it was when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Take for yourselves the twelve men [chosen] from among the people, one man from each tribe, 3 and command them, ‘Pick up for yourselves twelve stones [one each] from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm; carry them over with you and lay them down at the place where you will spend the night tonight.’” 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe; 5 and Joshua said to them, “Cross over again to the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel, 6 so that this may be a sign among you; when your children ask later, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall say to them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall become a memorial for Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:1-8, AMP)
We all establish memorials and can benefit from asking ourselves the question, “What do these stones mean to you?” It is a blessing to be able to answer, these “stones,” this memorial I have established reminds me of God’s goodness to me. This can be easy to do when His goodness came in the form of His miraculous intervention on our behalf or in the life of someone precious to us. We can also benefit from memorials to the season(s) when we trusted Him when darkness prevailed and we could not sense Him near. Those times when, with His enabling, we stood firm on His promises, held on to them with a white knuckled grip, although buffeted by storms of doubt and fear. These memorials remind us during current challenges, “This is where I trusted God. I trusted Him then and I can trust Him now because He is the same God now as then.” In addition, we can build and benefit from memorials to His faithfulness in the ordinariness of day to day life.
Unfortunately, however, instead of memorials which celebrate the goodness of God, we can create memorials to loss. And hurts. And betrayals. And failures. Thankfully, if we allow Him, our Father can help us dismantle these memorials, heal our wounded places, and cause us to sing like David did:
“You did it: You changed wild lament into whirling dance:
You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about You.
God, my God, I can’t thank You enough.”
(Psalm 30:11-12, MSG)
What memorials do we have? Are there ones which need to be dismantled? Let us not wait another minute or waste any more of this precious life He has given bowing before those which need to be dismantled completely.