It’s almost not Tuesday anymore. I get it. I’m kinda late for my Truth for Tuesday. And speaking of late... I’m not going to even acknowledge my lack of blogging the last week or so. Nope. Not gonna do it. I’m just gonna pretend my lapse didn’t happen and jump right in with the hopes you either (a) didn't notice or (b) are quick to forgive. ;) Deal? Deal. Good.
So it's Tuesday... and there are phases of life that are cloudy, busy, blurry. This season in particular seems to be that way for a lot of folks just trying to “make it” through the holidays. Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets tired from just looking at my calendar. Don’t get me wrong… I ADORE Christmas, but sometimes… Ok a lot of times… It’s easy to get caught up in it all and it’s hard to find the time to sit and reflect.
This week as I was reading Joshua, one passage really stuck out to me. The story is quite the interesting one. Moses was dead, and the Lord appointed Joshua to lead His people into the land that the Lord promised them. After having some spies go and check out the land (& being hidden and thus saved by a prostitute), they come back and report that the land has indeed been given to them by the Lord. So the Israelites led by Joshua, decided to travel to the land but in order to do so, they had to cross over the Jordan river. And there is a lot of GREAT things about the next part of the story, but I’m going to stick to one key aspect so forgive my brevity in saying that God, in His infinite power split the Jordan river and allowed the entire nation of Israel to cross over on dry land unharmed and untouched by the water.
Crazy I know.
But here’s the part that I love.
After the ENTIRE nation crossed over the Jordan, God commanded them to take 12 stones from the Jordan and lay them as a memorial in Gilgal, the place where they stayed. Interesting/Weird right? It’s kind of a odd request to the naked eye. But we’re not left hanging. Joshua explains by saying to the Israelites,
"When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea …so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever." Josh. 4:21-24
And it struck a chord in my soul.
The Lord was COMMANDING the people to set up things in their life to remind them of His mighty works. And not just the folks who experienced it, but their children and their children’s children. He commands them to make a memorial, to REMEMBER.
Here’s the deal. I think sometimes we get so caught up in looking ahead that we forget to look behind. It’s easy to get stressed out by lists of things that need to get done, gifts to buy, church events to attend, school plays, sports, ministry, and the list goes on and on and on. That’s why I love advent. It is a great opportunity to look back on a mighty Savior and His mighty works. Don’t get me wrong, it can easily become another thing on the list to cross off. I have to fight against it. But when I’m able to sit and remember, it does my soul good and I see why the Lord commanded the Israelites to place those stones in Gilgal. It wasn’t because God needed them to remember. The verse doesn't say "so that GOD will be delighted that people remembered Him." No. It says "so that ALL the people of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty."
The reminder is for US, not Him. He wants us to remember for our OWN good, not His.
Because when we remember that we serve a mighty God who parts seas for us, it’s easier to rest in His sovereign hand. It’s easier to believe that He is indeed good. It is easier for our hardened hearts to soften towards our Maker.
So in this season of advent, as we look back to the birth and work of Christ, let me encourage you to look back to Scripture to see what He as done for you and for mankind. But also, let me encourage you to look back in your own life and in the life of your church. Look for His hand and remember. Remember His mighty works. Remember when he dried up the waters and led you across the Jordan river. Remember... & tell someone about it. Talk about His mighty works in your homes and with your friends. Tell us on your blogs or in the comments here. I don't care what medium you choose, just in this season of business, carve out some time to REMEMBER. Remember His mighty hand.
Much love & Merry Christmas,