I’ve always had a fascination for endings – even the tough ones because to me, endings evoke hope; it’s a prelude to something new. It’s the cycle of life and that is fascinating. Whenever something comes to an end, I usually become retrospective, nostalgic, and at times even melancholic.
Now that the first quarter of the year is over, I’m marveling at how fast time is speeding by. I’m feeling the need to hit pause – to everything. Do you ever feel that way?
This year has already been filled with so many intimate encounters with God that I want to stop to take it all in and simply remember.
I want to make..
memorial stones. I’ve decided to do this at the end of every quarter this year – so that I am conscientiously building grateful monuments of God-moments to mark my journey throughout the year.
In the book of Joshua, the Lord tells him to choose 12 men, one from each tribe of the Israelites, and then instruct them to: “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” (Joshua 4:3). God wanted these stones to be a memorial to the children of Israel forever.
Later Joshua also “set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the Ark of the Covenant stood” (Joshua 4:9). Joshua was also building a memorial stone to remember the exact place where God caused the waters of the Jordan to stop before the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord.
Why? Very simply, to remember God’s goodness that enabled the Israelites to cross the Jordan. I believe these memorial stones are so crucial to our Christian walk; a memorial stone keeps us in a place of remembrance and gratitude.
Joshua 4:3 tells us that it is important to set up your memorial stone IN the place where God leads you to – away from where you once were and at a place where the sins and shame of your past has been “rolled away”.
We must stop, reflect and build our memorial in that place in our life where He gives us rest. This will be our point of faith because we have seen and experienced His faithfulness in the past and we believe for mightier moves of God for our future.
So it is here, at this point in time that I want to build a memorial to remember all the blessings of the year thus far – because I saw the face of God in each of them. I even want to remember all the struggles so I don’t forget that God taught me how to navigate through the tough terrains and overcome them.
I want to remember how He led me to where I am now. I want to remember the hard times so I can feel how God used them to strengthen me. I want to remember but I will let it all go so my eyes are fixed forward and my hands are unclenched, free to be filled again with new blessings, and opportunities.
I want to remember but not stay rooted in my remembrance so that my feet are forging forward, towards a new place and into a new season. I want to remember how far I walked and trace the path when God walked with me – because He did.
I’m sure He did with you too.
If you reflect and remember, you will marvel at that journey you took. In hindsight, even though that road was paved with pebbles and struggles, you will be glad you walked that road because any journey with Jesus leads to transformation.
So today, I encourage you to do as I did. Pause. Ponder. You will see how much you have already been transformed – in just these few months. Look back and see if you can trace the hand of God in your experiences.
Where is He leading you? What is He saying? Did He coax you to walk another way than the one you intended? Did that change something?
Ponder from a place where God taught you faith in every circumstance before He led you into a place of rest and from the place where you encountered His Presence.
In that place where you were restored, build your memorial stone and let the gravity of gratitude keep you anchored in His goodness.
Now, when you face a challenge, you can say with even more conviction than before that “my God will never leave nor forsake me” because your memorial stone of His goodness stands tall and proud.
Now, you can step into the promising days ahead engulfed in that magnificent memory!