Memorial Stones: Trustworthy Rocks

Welcome to September 2014 “In Word & Image” at The Writer’s Reverie!

Each week I explore monthly themes using Scripture combined with a visual and a devotional thought!

Ruminate with me.

Be inspired in your heart.

Be captivated by His beauty.

Be enriched in the timeless treasury of His gifts.

Be challenged to go forth with purpose and live for Him.

SEPTEMBER THEME: Memorial Stones

Trustworthy Rocks

As far as they were concerned, wandering in the desert was not on the list of things to do for Israel, back in the day. 

God had other plans.

After witnessing His powerful deliverance of them from Pharaoh via ten miraculous plagues, you might think Him worthy of their trust. So too, being one whose sandal clad feet felt dry land under each step in the epic crossing of the Red Sea, you’d expect them to be fully convinced of God’s Word – that He WILL do what He says He will do.

And, lest we forget how this millions strong collection of men, women, children and livestock watched in horror as God’s judgement of the pursuing Egyptian army was meted out with finality, engulfed in the depths of the Red Sea under torrents of waves. Only hours before, God’s hand held back the waters for Israel’s safe rescue. They passed from death to new life! He was true to His Word, fulfilling His promise that He WOULD SURELY set them free and lead them to the Promised Land.

But, the plot twisted.

Apparently, Attention Deficit Disorder and Short Attention Spans have plagued the human race for millennium. How could Israel have missed the meaning in such Acts of God on their behalf? How could they plumb forget the goodness of God towards them and His promises for more to come within just a couple of months?

Proverbs 3:5-6, memorial stones

Moses was in a planning meeting with God on the top of the mountain, while the folks at the bottom of the mountain became antsy waiting.

Like a toddler in a restaurant when service is slow. 

Like me in the wrong line at the grocery store.

The punishment was swift and hard. Forty years wandering in the desert until the unbelieving adult generation died out. Joshua and Caleb seemed to be the sole cheerleaders for God’s promises. They survived. Young children, who might have vague memories of the flight from Egypt, were now the responsible adults of the tribes.

True to His promise – because He ALWAYS is – God orchestrated another epic event to bring to a conclusion the years of aimless desert wandering. The sentence had been served. Even in that, God had been gracious to keep them well heeled with shoes that never wore out and provision in all things.

Sort of like climbing up into Daddy’s lap for comforting hugs and kisses after a deserved spanking.

It was time to get His people settled in the home He had planned for them all along.  God ALWAYS has a plan.

He was ready to give it another try with this stubborn bunch. The Jordan River needed crossing, providing the perfect setting to show Himself mighty to this fresh, young generation. Joshua was now the in-charge guy and he followed God’s specific directions, leading the people across the Jordan River in much the same way Moses had led them across the Red Sea – 

On dry land . . .

With the Ark of the Covenant held aloft, the Presence of God at the center of their provision, preparing the way for His own people to possess His purposes for them . . .

In the Promised Land . . .

But, before they could proceed, they had do create a marker of the occasion – like what we do on battlefields. If you’ve ever been to Gettysburg, there are dozens of memorials scattered about, marking where a battle took place or where a brave soldier fell. Epic moments marked for remembrance. The story of the moment set in stone.

To be remembered.

Here’s how Joshua 4:1-7 records it:

When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua,“Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’ So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”

In this physical world, God instructed His people to build a rock solid physical reminder of His worth and glory. He had NEVER left them. He had ALWAYS provided for them. He had PROVEN He was worthy.

TRUSTWORTHY.

Isaiah 26:4, trust, Lord, rock, memorial stones

About the Headlines

So, I’m ruminating on these things this month. The past four weeks have tempted me to desert wandering in despair. The world seems so fragile. About to break. I am grieved at world events in as much as I am looking up knowing my redemption draws near. History – HIS STORY – is filed with memorial stones for me. Much like the twelve stones Israel physically built, culled from the dry land of the Jordan that could not have been taken any other way other than that God held back the waters.

Which, in fact, He did.

This, in fact, was the point.

Israel did not have any understanding of what lay ahead of them. What they did have, though, was a pile of rocks. One on top of the other. Marking the place of God’s epic Presence in the fulfillment of His promise. God commanded the history of that moment to be set in stone. And remembered. Always.

That is the treasure of history. It is rock solid to me. Something I can hold onto. IT HAPPENED!

It’s something I can know and understand.

And, it is worthy to be remembered. Especially in the ever present moment when I’m every second standing on the brink of the future.

A future I do not know.

A future that is untouchable.

Intangible.

Unpredictable.

BUT . . .

memorial stones, god

HIS STORY is worthy to be looked back upon. There is a divine purpose to the nostalgic sense we often feel in our humanity. As though we want to reach back to hold something that we could know – especially in times when we have no understanding. The Memorial Stones built by Israel were a tangible ROCK of remembrance.

GOD IS TRUSTWORTHY!

GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES!

GOD MAKES A WAY WHEN THERE SEEMS TO BE NO WAY!

This month I’ll be ruminating on the value of remembrance. As a hobby historian, historical re-enactor and collector of all things old, vintage and nostalgic, I am not ashamed of immersing myself in the past. I love old things. They represent solid rocks I must ever be mindful of – especially when one lives in a contemporary society bent on blazing into the future blind.

And, in its haste to embrace the future, they topple Memorial Stones.

Memorial Stones laid as a Firm Foundation.

A Foundation that is Trustworthy.

Even when we don’t understand . . .

Challenge: Make time to stop, remember, and be directed by the Memorial Stones of the goodness of the Lord in your life. Your rushing, crushing, crisis-prone world needs the respite of remembrance. God has something to minister to you in the place of looking back . . .

If you humble yourself with a heart of gratitude and meet Him there . . .

With eyes to see and ears to hear . . .

And arms open wide for His embrace.

This is the 1st installment of Word & Image September 2014: Memorial Stones: Trustworthy Rocks

Click below for all the posts in the series as they are published:

Memorial Stones: Trustworthy Rocks

Memorial Stones: Looking Back to Hope

Memorial Stones: Pathways to Peace – Sweetened with Joy

NEXT WEEK – Memorial Stones: Looking Back to Hope

 Miss Kathy, writer's reverie, butterfly

Sharing Memorial Stones: Trustworthy Rocks this week with:

Judith at Whole Hearted Wednesdays

 Tell His Story with Jennifer Dukes Lee

 Lyli at Thought Provoking Thursdays at 3D Lessons 4Life

 Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party

 Laura on Faith Filled Friday at Missional Women

 Essential Things Friday Devotions

 Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger

 Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays

My Fresh Brewed Life with Barbie – Weekend Brew

Janis at Sunday Stillness

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Kathryn Ross

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and blogs at PageantWagonPublishing.com.

Comments

  1. Kathy, this was so beautiful! I have been gathering memorial stones for the past three years. Thank you!

  2. Thank you. This is a very special blog. I translated it in Dutch. I love this devotian. ( and beautiful images)

  3. Stones are all over my home…this post…series is bound to be a treasure! I have a drafted devotional series about Beachstones. Love! Will pin to re-read again. Looking forward to each of these posts!

  4. Kathryn, you always give me something awesome to chew on! Hope this finds you well in the Lord!
    Yes, we want our foundation to be strong and true!!
    Blessings, dear friend 🙂

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