If your around my age or older, I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Jackson popped in your head after seeing the title. Lol. These past two weeks I’ve been diving into the book of Joshua and I have camped around chapter 4. In this chapter God is getting ready to bring the Israelites across the Jordan river so that they can take refuge in the Promise Land. I urge you to read chapter 4 and all of Joshua when you have a chance. The purpose of this post is to focus on an order God gave Joshua for the Israelites. He ordered them to remember.
“and Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel. Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.””
Joshua 4:5-7 NASB
I had to read this chapter a few times before it finally registered to me the significance of the memorial. Often times in my walk with Christ, I hit hard times and completely forget His goodness. I cry out “woe is me” and ask why I have been forsaken. If I don’t refocus myself on thoughts that are good (Phil 4 vs 8), hopelessness will consume me.
I know I haven’t been forsaken, but I want things a certain way and in my timing. But when I look back at the victories in my life, they have all occurred when God was in control. His timing is perfect and I have plenty of proof in my life to validate that. And it is when I look back to when I was in the valley of the shadow of death, that I remember his staff was totally there. Joy did arrive in the morning. My old battles are now songs of victories. These are memorials I must hold on to when I’m prepared to cross the Jordan river. What’s dope about God is that he divided the Jordan so that the Israelites crossed on dry land.
Every time I have been through the valley I always come out stronger, maybe a little sweaty but unharmed. I hate to admit this but our trips into the valley will be constant in our walk with God. Valleys are in between hills. This means as we reach one hill aka “victory”, we gotta go through another valley to get to our next victory. But as we build memorials for each victory, we have something to hold on to and provide us strength as carry on until we reach our final destination. Eternal life.
I am in the valley right now and I’m sure some of y’all are here with me. Let’s find some stones and start building a memorial. Let’s start praising God for what He has done and where He has gotten us. I’d rather be in this valley now than down in the pit of hell later. In valleys there are usually rivers and where there is water, there is life.
Thank you God for the many victories I have won. Your right hand is over me and over anyone reading this. I praise you because of your goodness. As I look back at the memorials along my path, I remember that you are always by my side. I thank you for what is in store for me and as I walk through this valley I will lean on your rod for comfort.
With peace and joy,