I’ve been feeling the pains of this life deluge me these last several months. And they seem to somehow be trying to simultaneously drown my memories of God’s provision and care. How quickly I forget the manner in which God has shown his trustworthiness—the numerous ways he has been tangible with his love.
Interestingly, throughout Scripture, especially in the Old Testament, we see story after story of the forgetfulness of God’s people. The presence of trials, distress, and sorrow seem to sink their memory of God’s work in their lives. Interestingly, we also see the Lord encouraging his people to establish memorials and monuments to help them remember—to help them recall his provision and care.
One instance, in particular, stands out to me. God had just caused the water of the Jordan river to stand and rise up in one heap while the Israelites were able to cross the riverbed on firm, dry ground. With such an incredible display of God’s power and care for his people it is hard to imagine they could ever forget. But God asked Joshua to lead his people to set up a monument of twelve stones; the monument was intended to remind them and future generations that “the hand of the Lord is mighty” (Joshua 4:24). God wanted them to remember his faithfulness. He knew that more trials, distress, and sorrow would befall his loved ones and he didn’t want them to forget his care. So they built a visible, tangible reminder.
I am realizing more and more the importance of memorials, monuments, and tributes to God’s faithfulness.
We forget. I forget.
Pain rises quickly in my life. A small trigger of heartache seems to gain rapid momentum as it touches every other heartache, forcefully flooding my mind. All of a sudden I am drowning in pain. Meanwhile, my hope, my joy, my faith, and my purpose scramble to stay grounded. I forget. I forget what God has done.
I need memorials. I need monuments. I need to be surrounded with gracious reminders of God’s faithfulness in my life. I need to recall that I serve a God who causes the waters to stand and rise up in one heap—I need to bear in mind that he will help me once again cross to dry ground.
So today, I build this monument of twelve stones.
Do you have any “memorials” in your life that serve as reminders to God’s faithfulness?