Setting Up Memorial Stones

For generations the descendants of Abraham were waiting for the fulfillment of the promises God made to him to come to pass – namely, that they would possess a land which the Lord God would give them.  Moses was God’s deliverer from Egyptian slavery, but after 40 years of wilderness wandering it was Joshua who was God’s appointed leader to take the children of Israel into the Promised Land.

 Upon crossing the Jordan River in miraculous fashion, God instructed Joshua to do a curious thing: “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 4:3

 Why did God have them do this?  He wanted them to remember His faithfulness and power. There were some specific lessons that He wanted them to learn from this event.  When God does significant things in our life, we need to mark the event; we need to memorialize the occasion.  We need to set up some stones in our lives so we will remember it.  Do you know why? Because like the children of Israel, we all have the tendency to forget. 

 Sometimes I will say to myself, “I will never forget this miracle!  I will never forget the faithfulness of God right here!” Then a few years (or days!) go by and I have completely forgotten. We all have a tendency to forget God’s faithfulness. We all suffer from various levels of spiritual amnesia. Again, we all have the tendency to forget. That’s why we have calendars, handheld organizers, or tie strings around our fingers.  In the same way, God instructs Joshua to set up these memorial stones.

 In my office I have several shelves filled with “memorial stones.” They sit just beyond the gaze of my computer screen. These “stones” are trinkets from mission trips, photographs, coffee mugs from retreats, plaques and other items. Each of them represents something significant in my walk with Christ. As I peak around the screen and look at each one, the memories begin to flood in and gratefulness to God ensues.

 Consider some of the things God has done in your life:

  • Has God ever healed your body? BUILD A MEMORIAL!
  • Has God ever delivered you from an addiction? BUILD A MEMORIAL!
  • Has God ever met a financial need? BUILD A MEMORIAL!
  • Has God ever used you in someone else’s life? BUILD A MEMORIAL!

 God has done great things in your life.  Building a memorial reminds us of his faithfulness.  Looking back on those events through the lens of those memorial stones allows the perspective of time to bring clarity to God’s purposes. Now I understand why I went through some of the things I went through; now I understand why the Lord didn’t heal me right away; now I understand why God let me go hungry sometimes – in order that myself and others will know the faithfulness and power of our God!


Pastor Troy