Sometimes we just need to remember. Today I was cleaning out a box of stuff pulled from my car. As I was sorting, I found myself laughing at much that was found. I mean who needs 100 bobby pins? Or perhaps 7 lip glosses? Oh yes and the receipts from failed attempts at organization or the random earrings, not always paired. How does one loose one earring in a car anyway? There were a few items that didn’t catch me off guard. I knew exactly why they were there.
Yep, you read that correctly. I had rocks in my car, not just small pebbles but the kind of rock you’d use to skip over a lake or pond. Each rock I pulled out I did so with a smile and a reminder that God is faithful.
You see, in Joshua 4, the Israelites were once again up against the humanly impossible. And you guessed it, God did the miraculous. He held the waters of a river at flood stage back and the Israelite’s passed on dry ground. After the nation crossed, the Lord commanded 12 priests to go to the middle of the river bed and choose 12 large stones and build an alter to the Lord, an ebenezer. This alter was built to help the nation remember what the Lord had done. It was built for the generations to come, so that when they asked their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents about the pile of rocks, those asked would get to respond with, “sit down, let me tell you a story.”
I love that story. I mean I REALLY love that story. It is the grace of God preparing a people for what is to come, with their lack of ability to remember in mind. God, knew the people would forget and would need a reminder. Each stone the priests carried to the river bank was a stone of remembrance. Each I’m sure held a story or the face of a loved one, perhaps it was filled with a release of fear and awe. Each stone held significance for every person watching the ebenezer come together.
I collect rocks. I do this to help me remember. I find them in random places. I find them in my purse, in moving boxes and I found them today with all the things removed from my car. My fingers would touch the smooth surface of the rock and I’d remember. I remembered when I met Kelli at a conference last year or when I sat on a beach in Cape Cod. There was a rock from a hike, where God invited me into the fear of the unknown. There was a rock Mt Hermon, where I was reminded who God created me to be and there was a rock from in front of my friends Tom and Tori’s home as I experience the faithfulness of God through their friendship. Each rock held for me a story, a picture of God’s faithfulness to me. Each rock reminded me that God sees. Each rock reminded me that today I serve the same God.
I am wishing I had a rock from Salina, Utah, for I experienced the faithfulness of God in majestic ways. Perhaps, next time I drive through I’ll stop and pick one up? Perhaps I’ll remember through pictures?
We all need rocks. We need things in our lives to help us remember.
Remembering is what we draw from to face uncertainty with courage, sadness with joy and difficulty with assurance. Remembering creates the story of our lives as each memory is stitched together, creating a masterpiece, an ebenezer for generations to come.
Take some time to remember with someone today.