This Memorial Day weekend has me thinking about the memorials we keep. Do you have mementos from your life? Perhaps a scrapbook or a photo album? Maybe you have a key chain from vacation, or something you collect when you take a trip.
We tend to collect items as memorials of good times. Sometimes we keep memorials of someone we loved. As a nation, we put up memorials to honor people. This idea of creating a memorial to remember good times or to honor someone began thousands of years ago.
Did you know that God commanded a memorial?
Remember when God split the sea and allowed the Israelites to escape the Egyptians? You would have thought those people would never, ever forget that miracle. Practically all of mankind knows this story! Yet, the Israelites grumbled and complained shortly afterwards that God was going to lead them to their deaths in the desert.
So, when it was finally time for the people to enter into the promised land, the Jordan river was blocking them, and it was in a high flood stage. Yet, God planned to show them, once again, how faithful He is to keep His promises. But, this time, God didn’t want them to forget how His mighty hand worked a miracle just for them, right before their eyes. Here’s what God said:
“When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, 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)
Essentially, God wanted them to take something tangible from this miracle. Create a memorial of the event.
Joshua knew how to follow orders:
Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. 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, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. 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)
It’s not likely any of us experienced anything as dramatic as the splitting of the sea or the Jordan river. Yet, we have an even greater miracle that occurred in our lives:
Our faith in Jesus and becoming a child of the Most High God! Being washed clean from our sins and adopted into the family of God because of the blood of Christ is the greatest miracle of all time.
What memorial stones have you set up to honor and remember this miracle in your life?
Do you remember the day you decided to follow Christ? Do you keep a memento of this sacred event?
As I’m writing this, I am thinking about setting aside April 27, 2008, as a holy day of remembrance for me. Perhaps I’ll take the day I gave my life to Christ off work from now on. Perhaps I’ll spend the day in silence, somewhere quiet, marveling at the mighty hand of God.
I do keep this rock by my computer (see below). It looks like a heart to me, but broken, cracked, and scarred. It represents my broken heart over losing our child when he was just three-years-old.
I keep this next to my computer where I write these blogs, articles, books, and Bible studies. This heart-shaped rock reminds me why I write. This rock helps me remember how the Lord healed my broken heart. I did not shatter into a thousand pieces, unable to go on with life, because the mighty hand of God touched my life. God alone held my heart in His hands and took some of the pain away so that I could feel His love for me.
This heart-shaped rock represents my miracle. This rock is my memorial stone of the love of God.
Do you have a memorial “stone?” What is it and what does it represent?