Hello again friends and family! It has been quite a long time, and of course we know what that means…that means much is going on.
Wow…”much” is an understatement, and looking at this month, a lot more “much” will be going on again!
I just want to pause (and blog, so I guess I’m not reallly pausing…) to share with you the recent memorial stone I’ve added to my collection. You might be saying, “Oh dear, what is Shelly doing now?!”, which I can respect. I’m kinda known for being really random and sentimental, which this act fits the description perfectly! About 4 years ago I slowly began collecting “stones of rememberance”, as you read about in Joshua 4. In the incredible story of a loooonnngg awaited promise, Israel was just about to enter into the Promise Land. <Pause button> This land was promised to Abraham, that’s how long they had waited! <Resume button> As they were crossing over, the Lord told Joshua to have one man from each of the 12 tribes grab a stone from the middle of the Jordan. Once all of Israel crossed over, Joshua had the men stand all 12 stones up. The stones were meant to be conversation starters to the coming generations. When someone, more than likely a child, would come across these (rather large) stones and ask what they were there for, that’s when Psalm 145: 4-7 would come alive!:
4 One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
God didn’t want His glorious, powerful and awesome act of unfailing love to be forgotten. Joshua instructed the generation that had crossed over the Jordan into the Promise Land, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over.” And the reason why God had them take up stones of rememberance is so that, “all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.”
I am truly the most forgetful person by nature. I’ve lost 3 pairs of glasses in one year, a winter coat in the middle of winter (and I didn’t realize it until I was cold later on that night!), and I don’t know how many times I’ve lost my keys. You could say I’d make a good magician, except that I never could quite figure out how to make them reappear!!! My mom always used to say to me, “I’m so grateful that your head is attached because you’d lose that one too somehow”. She was a very wise woman!! I am so grateful that the Lord not only desires us to remember, but He commands us to.
Why? I think we all know the answer — We are SO prone to forget TOO quickly what the Lord did. It’s as though that somehow, because it was past-tense (what He did, even if it was yesterday), it diminishes the power displayed through what was wrought. Time doesn’t diminish His omnipotence! If anything, time multiplies the frequency of which we have the pleasure of witnessing it, right?! Or sometimes, if time passes and we may need another movement of our Lord, we think our bank account is a bit empty — like He did some incredible things before, but how on earth is He gonna do it again? Before the Israelites crossed over the Jordan, the Lord told them that He was going to take them a way they had never been before. At least 2 other times we read about how the spies entered into the Promise Land, so they knew of at least a couple of routes to get them securely in. This time, God had His uncharted route. I love it! The Lord doesn’t run out of ideas or creativity of how He’s gonna set-up something so big that we’d be fools not to remember……………..but, alas, we do. I know I do. I’m the worst, like I said.
So all of this just to say (sorry, ten years later), that’s part of the reason why I started gathering my own stones. I know, it sounds super cheesey and please, only make fun of me behind my back ; ) I’ve dated these stones and wrote a brief description of why I collected them. Some are big, some are small, but they all take me back to remembering the incredible goodness and faithfulness of our Lord because I know, probably in 162 hours and 49 seconds, I’m going to need that reminder again, however big or small, that my God is HUGE, POWERFUL and my God is FAITHFUL.
This last year, I had some pretty big challenges to overcome. January of last year, the Lord spoke to my heart that 2009 would be a year of “much” change…there’s that word again. I had no idea the areas of my life, even from my childhood, that He would be bringing to light so that His glory may increase and a deeper wholeness would take place in me. Ohhhh, little did I know what was ahead. Now I see why God told Joshua at least 4 times “Be strong and courageous! Do not be discouraged, do not be terrified for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”. It has been a season of change and in the midst of everything came marching orders to find an apartment on my own. SO much of this was new and intensely overwhelming. I was praying about a roommate as well, but God said, “No, it’s going to be a season for the two of us. People may come and go and this will be a place for others, but we need this time together.” It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me at the time, but now I am seeing His plan unravel a bit and my heart is so at peace. I wish I had the time to share the incredible story of how the Lord provided this amazing new home that I am now living in and how He made Isaiah 61:4 come to life, but suffice it to say, that when you come over and see the stones, just ask me what they mean and I’ll be more than happy to share about the powerful hand of the Lord and His incredible love that ensues from it!
Today and for generations to come, I hope you tell those around you of our faithful God…don’t hold back! And maybe even start a rock collection of your own : )Our God is beyond comprehension! By the way, I just have to say this, so the new rock is the big one in the back of the picture and all I can say is that it looks like the Grand Teton’s peak…coincidence?! I think not!!