January 01, 2018

Monuments

Devotion for the Week...

Happy New Year!

This time of year certainly encourages looking back, doesn't it? Not only is the year coming to a close, but also the decorations and traditions of the Christmas season evoke remembrances of years gone by.

I find it happens especially when we decorate our Christmas tree. Since I make special ornaments for the boys each year (see this year's ornaments here), there are a lot of weird things on our tree. Nathan especially, will ask things like, "Why did Zach get a spider ornament?" Because he was really into insects that year. "Why is my first ornament a worm in an apple?" Because you were the squirmiest worm of a baby I have ever seen. And, "Why does Aiden have a black ship?" Because he was fascinated by pirates that year.

It's fun to look back and remember what the boys were like when they were smaller. The ornaments serve as monuments, to help keep those memories in our minds so we don't forget the things they were so fascinated by. I love that every year, as we decorate the tree, we go over the reason for each of the ornaments again.

Did you know God gave the Isrealites instructions for building a monument to help them remember something? It's recorded in Joshua, chapter 4. The Isrealites were entering the Promised Land and the first thing they had to do was cross the Jordan river. God told Joshua to send the priests into the river first, carrying the ark of the covenant, and when the priests were in the river, God stopped the flow of water so the whole nation could walk across on dry ground.

"When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 'Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.'" (Joshua 4:1-3).

Why?

"In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever" (vv 6,7).

God knew that they would need reminders of the things He had done for them so He encouraged the Isrealites to make one, a very obvious and hard to miss physical reminder. It was one that would make people ask questions, giving the Isrealites a chance to tell the story again, which would serve both to let others know what had happened and to remind those who had been there.

Our memories aren't any better than those of the Isrealites. As time passes, it's not unusual for us to forget what God has done for us. Even the things that were spectacular when they happened can slip our minds at times.

It's a great idea, then, to make ourselves physical reminders of what He has done for us. While we probably aren't going to pile up big boulders on our front lawns, there are lots of ways we can link an object to memories.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Some ideas include a piece of jewelry with a special stone or symbol; a piece of wall art featuring a favourite Bible verse; a photograph of a place or a person; a quilt, a tattoo, a special plate or a specific recipe, a stuffed animal...the list could go on and on.

Whatever will make you think of what God has done for you in the past will work. It's even better if it will also sometimes cause other people to ask "Does this have special meaning?"

God has done so much for us. Monuments help us remember.

1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year, Leanne! Your post is also a reminder of the mighty things He has done for us!

    ReplyDelete

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