And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying: “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’”
Many times in the Bible, God institutes a holiday or tradition, or commands the making of a certain thing, in order to provide a physical reminder of His goodness. When my friend encouraged me to “remember my stones,” I asked myself: What are some practical ways in which I can do so?
Ways to remember God's goodness:
I began a blessing journal, in which I recorded one blessing for each day. Some days the blessings were small: “I found my lost earring today!” Some days, they were more heartfelt: “I had a day with little pain and a clear mind. I got so much accomplished!” And other days they were monumental: “My sister safely delivered a healthy baby!” During those times when I can only recall the frustrating things, I return to the blessing journal and read over the entries.
I heard of a family’s shared blessing journal, which they would then read aloud at the end of the year, to remember all the ways in which God interceded on their behalf. What a beautiful activity that combines family bonding with faith strengthening!
Cliché as it may seem, holidays and traditions are times of remembrance. We always participate in a “Thankful Activity” with our relatives at Thanksgiving, by writing down things for which we are grateful. My family celebrates Passover every year with a special meal and the reading of the ten plagues, the first Passover, and the exodus from Egypt. One year, my father shared his personal testimony, as a way of commemorating his deliverance from his own “Egypt” of sin. It was a special time and, ever since then, I have remembered the significance of God “passing over” my sin, and marking me with the blood of His Lamb.
My family has a whiteboard on which we write down the things for which we are grateful. When I have a bad day, it is a powerful reminder of all the blessings that I tend to take for granted, and which God has showered so lavishly upon me and my family.
My personal journals and diaries are some of my greatest sources of remembrance. I have found that often I recall certain episodes of my life very differently than the way in which they actually happened, and reading through my diaries reminds me of details I’ve forgotten. Often, my reading reveals my faults, but it also reveals God’s goodness. In light of what I know now, I can look back at those old times of trial, and see just how God was using them to strengthen and teach me.
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None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.