One year ago, today, I said goodbye to my mom and dad, boarded the first of 3 flights that would eventually take me to the country I’ve called “home” these past 12 months. It’s been one of the craziest, stretching, sweet, challenging, good years of my 23 year old life. I’ve lived in my country for one whole year, and all praise goes to the Trinity. My last post was a plead for prayer & encouragement, and the response I got was utterly overwhelming. Please believe me when I say that your prayers were more than felt during my week outside of the country.
“When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’ Joshua 4:1-3
After freeing the Israelites from slavery to the Egyptians, He led them into the wilderness to wander for 40 years. 40 years of hardship, God’s provision, their disobedience, God’s pursuit, and many miracles.
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. 5 And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of theLord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” Joshua 4:4-7
In light of this passage, here lie my own stones full of teaching & sanctification in whose purpose is to form an altar of remembrance of the Lord’s faithfulness:
- the love of Christ is rich and free fixed on its own eternity
- I’ve been given much grace, therefore I GIVE much grace
- His favor is not by my own merit or deeds–but because He chose me before the foundations of the world for good works, that I would walk in them
- it’s His kindness towards my sin that leads me to repentance
- the victory is already won against sin & my flesh–which all ultimately lead to death (death of relationships, ministry, life, etc)
- of His mercies He will give, and give, and give again
- “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness” Psalm 37:3
- like Cain, sin is forever crouching at my door with its desire to manipulate, control, have dominion over–but I am NOT its slave
- the desert is not purposeless or trivial, but full of sanctification
- the answer in the middle of transition & chaos is to press deeper into Christ
- “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy.” Psalm 126:5
- one of the quickest ways to lose heart is to stop beholding His glory
“and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure.” Isaiah 33:6
What are your own stones of memory from this past year?