I love reading the Old Testament. The stories are moving and powerful. Often times they read like a great action movie of our day and time. The book of Joshua has many of these stories. In Joshua 4, the children of Israel are crossing the Jordan river into the promise land, something their parents had failed to do because of unbelief. In this story the priest carried the Ark of the Covenant, the presence of God, before the people into the promise land. God demonstrated His power and His presence with the people by stopping the Jordan river when the priest entered the river. The riverbed became dry, which is symbolic of the Red Sea Crossing that the prior generation had experienced. Joshua instructed 12 people to take stones from the riverbed and place them in the camp as a memorial of what God had done, as well as, what God was doing in giving them the land. The question of Joshua 4:6, “What do these stones mean to you?” anticipates a younger generation asking what this event meant. God provided families an opportunity to share about God’s provision in their life.
As we approach Thanksgiving, I would encourage you to pause and remember all that God has done. If you will be still in His presence, God will bring to mind different times and ways that He has been present and provided for you. Was it an encouraging word during a time of struggle? Was it unexpected money when times were tight? Was it an assurance of His presence during difficulty? Was it being prayed over by a trusted friend? God provides in so many different ways. Often times we do not recognize God’s presence and provision during our circumstances but only after we have come through the event to see the entire time God was with us. Sometimes He walks with us and other times He carries us, but we can rest assured He never abandons us. As you take time to celebrate Thanksgiving, I want to encourage you to stop and remember what God has done. What does this event mean? What is the story behind this scare? What does the stones mean? Tell the story of God’s work in your life.