There are certain moments in life we will never forget. Where were you on 9/11? How did you feel on your wedding day? What was the greatest vacation you ever took? You can probably answer all these questions with ease, because those memories are cemented in your mind.
Did you know that our memories are also important to God? He wants us to remember the moments He has shown His hand of blessing in a special way. Let’s consider how God caused the people of Israel to remember His faithfulness when Joshua led them into their promised land.
In order to inhabit the land, the Israelites had one more barrier to cross, the Jordan River. To cross successfully, Joshua had to follow God’s special instructions to let the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant lead the way. When they stepped into the banks of the river, God miraculously stopped the flow of water to allow all the Israelites to cross on dry ground.
But that wasn’t the end of God’s instructions. He also told Joshua to take stones from the Jordan River and set them up as a memorial to Him. He wanted the people to commemorate the miracle God performed that day. He wanted something that would stand as a reminder to them and their children that God was always faithful.
You see, God was interested in more than just meeting their immediate need of crossing the river. He wanted to use the opportunity to teach them about His character.
We can learn from this account that it’s important to remember God’s faithfulness. When we experience the blessing of God, we shouldn’t take it for granted and just move right on to the next thing. No, we should take time to pause and acknowledge the work of God we see in our lives.
Today, we may not be building a physical memorial to the Lord, but we acknowledge His faithfulness with our praise and worship. We commemorate His acts with our testimony. “Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 15:13, NKJV). Yes, when God does something great for us, we should acknowledge it, talk about it, and remember it.
With that in mind, I want to lift up a “memorial stone” in my life today. Recently, our son, Josiah, celebrated his 7th birthday. We hosted a somewhat typical birthday party with family and friends, but I never want to take moments like that for granted.
You see, when my wife was only five years old, she was diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer and was told she had only a 5% chance of surviving. At that moment, few people could have predicted with natural thinking that 35 years later, she would be living a healthy lifestyle and be married with three children of her own. Yet, God miraculously healed her and made the impossible possible! Indeed, “Ah, Lord GOD … there is nothing too hard for You” (Jeremiah 32:17).
Every birthday our children experience is an extension of the miracle God performed for my wife when she was just a child. I never want to forget what He did for her, because it reminds me that His hand is on our family in a strong way.
I know you have your own “memorial stones” and I encourage you to call them to remembrance today. Don’t ever forget the great things God has done for you! Your testimony will remind you of His faithfulness, encourage you to move forward, and teach others to trust Him. So, keep your testimony alive and your praise loud every day!