And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordanbefore you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”
We have short memories. Joshua instructed the Israelites to remember God’s work in their lives by setting up twelve stones. Today, we use other ways to help us remember. We mark the blessings of special moments and events with albums, videos, framed photos, and certificates. We record the heights of children on growth charts, use a bookmark to keep our place, and unfortunately, note the site of a fatal accident along a roadside with flowers and photos.
I like to mark my Bible. I note dates; names, if I pray a verse for people; and an encouragement or promise I cling to. I underline, make notes, and star passages. My marks help me remember.
Sometimes, markers come in the form of other objects-like my white powdered donuts.
Last week I had the gift of spending five days at the beach with friends. My 48thwedding anniversary fell in the middle of the week. That morning I grabbed a cup of coffee, my Bible, and several small white powdered donuts and walked to the beach alone.
To an observer, it appears to be a strange observance, but not to me. It was one of my stones of remembrance.
Whenever our family took beach vacations, at least one breakfast was marked with white powdered donuts on the beach. It was a sweet tradition observed early in the morning with few people around. So, tradition told me I would mark and remember my anniversary, albeit alone, with the same.
I sat looking at the magnificence of the ocean, waves coming in regularity, a gorgeous blue sky dotted with white cotton clouds-God’s grandeur in full view. I remembered my seasons of God-given joy: children building sandcastles, my husband fishing, grandchildren splashing, and past anniversaries.
And I opened my Bible.
Psalm 106:1 Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
I marked the date. On my sixth anniversary without my husband, the beach is still my beautiful peaceful place; the waves come and recede, so similar to the changing sting of grief and loss; the sun still shines, and treasures of truth remain: God is always good, His love lasts forever.
I rest in those markers and give thanks.
What markers do you have that remind you of God-given joy and truth?