|With thanks to my friend AM who makes my make-shift ideas look creative/official (thank you for the verse/label tag)|
Nor is it my idea…(it’s actually one that God thought up–see below)
But we’ve piled up “Jordan River Stones” for many years now…
The idea came from Joshua 4 where God told the Israelites to:
“Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone…that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord…so these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever…so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
~Joshua 4: 5,6,7&24
So whenever something happens that reminds us of God’s love or provision or power, we write it down on a stone to help us remember that in the future.
And the kiddos do ask….”What do those stones mean to you?”
Some rocks remind of big things…healing, financial provision, a new birth…
Some seem small…like the time Laura prayed we would find an American Girl doll at a garage sale. Even after I made several, faithless attempts to fill her with doubt. God answered her prayer that day because He knew it would show her 7-year-old-heart something special about who He is and His love for her.
I see that rock and remember our young daughter dumping her small bag of change into the lady’s money box and I think, “His lovingkindness is great toward us…” ~Psalm 117:2.
|Our friends loaned us their van for a week when our car was broken…|
|We thought our van was “done” but the mechanic was able to fix it…|
|Our daughter’s chronic stomach pain went away…|
|Three of our duck eggs hatched…(see previous post
Lydi’s blood tests that were abnormal in the summer came back normal in January…
Our pastor is currently teaching through Joshua so the Jordan stones came up a few chapters ago. But last Sunday, he commented on the second stone memorial that God told the Israelites to build.
In Chapter 7– 36 innocent men die because of Achan’s hidden sin. After it is exposed and he dies in punishment, the Israelites are told to raise a great heap of stones…to remember…
It is the second rock memorial after crossing the Jordan River.
And “to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor”…which means The Valley of Trouble.
God clearly wanted the Israelites to remember His holiness, His justice and the danger of sin…
The Valley of Trouble.
But here’s the part that I love…
Our pastor also shared that the Valley of Trouble is mentioned again in Hosea 2.
I had to go there this week. I needed to hear the end of Achor’s story.
This is what it says:
“And there I will give her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope…” (Hosea 2:15)
Only with God can a place of death and sin and pain and despair become the pathway to hope.
So I added a few new rocks today…praising Him for not only the way He gives us concrete evidence of His love. But also for the way He can take specific sins and failures…and He can turn them into a Valley of Hope:
A place where we see His love in the greatest way possible, through His forgiveness and redemption.