Remembering the faithfulness of God in our lives, remembering answers to prayer, remembering life-changing moments… these are powerful tools in all stages of our walk with God. It helps us to keep our eyes on Jesus instead of on our circumstances. It reminds us that our circumstances are not more powerful than the God we serve. It encourages us not to give up but to persevere in prayer. It bolsters our faith and can encourage others in their faith when we share these memories.
In Joshua 4, God instructs His people to put up “stones of remembrance”, memorials of His faithfulness to them. The stones were intended to remind the people and all the generations after them of what He has done.
All throughout the Psalms, we can see the psalmist lament and struggle and suffer, but it always comes back to remembering who God is and what He’s done.
Psalm 77:11 says, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.“
I have that verse on the cover of an old Hilroy school notebook. I started a “stones of remembrance” journal back in 2009 when we became victims of a recession and were without jobs, literally living by faith. God provided for us over and over and over again in big ways and small ones, in miraculous ways and practical ways. It was a beautiful and rich time for our family as we witnessed the faithfulness of the Lord in a season of such tremendous insecurity. Looking back on those pages is always an encouragement to me.
Recently, our pastor has been encouraging us to be intentional about these “stones of remembrance”. I had let my journal lie dormant for a while, but the timing is perfect. I need to take some time to think back over all the monumental acts of God on our behalf.
I strongly encourage you to do the same.
Here’s just a tiny snippet of some of the stones of remembrance in the life of my family:
The Rain Stopped
When our son was a wee baby, my husband was away for work, so there was no vehicle at home for me to drive and it had been raining steadily for three days straight. We needed milk for the baby and we needed it soon. He was getting hungry. I was getting desperate. I told the girls that we had to pray and expect a miracle. So we did.
Literally, within thirty seconds, the rain stopped, the sun came out, and we were out the door to walk to the store to buy milk! We were so excited about it, we were singing and dancing and praising God.
Immediately upon our return home, it began to rain again. It rained and rained and rained. But we had milk. And we had seen the hand of God move on our behalf.
Faith of a Child
When Gabrielle was almost 6 years old, she really wanted a new dress. I knew she was getting several dresses as Christmas gifts, so I told her if she wanted one that badly (Christmas was only two weeks away) that she would have to use her own money to buy it. She said she wanted to do that.
She proceeded to tell me that she wanted a navy blue velvety dress, with shimmery sleeves and it had to be no more than $15 because that’s all she had (her life savings)! I told her she would have to pray for God’s help if she was going to be that particular! So she prayed.
We went to the Saan store (the only store in town that would have a dress for a girl her size) and guess what! There, on the first rack, was a navy blue velvet-y dress, in her size, with sheer sleeves and it was on sale for $12.99. Thank you, God! It was a neat lesson that God cares about whatever we care about!
Fresh Fruit and Games
During our lean recession season, our grocery budget was almost non-existent. I bought only items on sale, and they were typically canned goods or other non-perishables. I rarely bought fresh fruit because it was too costly.
One Sunday, on our way home from church, I was just craving fresh fruit. I was imagining how refreshing a bite into something juicy and sweet would be. I wanted it so badly I could almost cry!
I was getting a little discouraged as we neared our home. I was thinking about how boring our lunch was going to be and I was saddened by our inability to treat our kids to some kind of fun entertainment outside the house. I thought, “We can’t even buy a new game to play.”
We arrived at home and I could see from our vehicle that there was something hanging on our doorknob. I walked up to the door, took the bag off the knob, and inside was a giant bunch of fresh grapes and a new card game to play with the kids!
This one was precious to me because I hadn’t even prayed about these things. I had simply been wallowing in despair. But God’s love and grace met me there and He encouraged me and provided something that isn’t even a need! He delighted in seeing us play that game that afternoon, I’m sure!
His Faithfulness Continues
I could go on and on and on. I have pages and pages of these stories. Some huge and some small. I’ve shared just a teensy glimpse here today. But I could tell about how my life was spared in a snowmobile accident. (I had been without a helmet only seconds earlier.) I could tell about how God miraculously provided food, clothing, and even birthday gifts through strangers in another country during financial hardship. I could tell about His work of healing, of the miracle birth of our second daughter, and countless other answers to prayer.
But you have your own stones of remembrance! Take some time to think about them today. And please, feel free share them in the comments! We can have our own virtual “stones of remembrance” conference right here!