“Joshua said to the Israelites, ‘In the future your children will ask, “What do these stones mean?” Then you can tell them, “This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’’”
Joshua 4:21-22 NLT
Some months back, I was in my church small group sharing about where we’d encountered Christ in the past week. I love this group as it encourages us all to speak honestly about who God is to each one of us and where we experience encountering him in our daily lives. I am so much richer as a person from my engagement with these wonderful people.
Someone had shared about being distracted from encountering God in the moment because of all the responsibilities that lay ahead in the next part of their day. This triggered a thought in me and I too shared how I was always surprised, perhaps also ashamed, that I experienced very real fears about my future security. My faith can become decidedly dodgy at such points as I seek to exercise control over my future.
When confronted by such fears, that are intense or disorientating, I can freeze in panic and confusion. Yet, God has shown me that looking over my shoulder I have decades of life behind me, many years of which have been fraught with difficulties that intimidated me at the time, and yet here I am safely standing in God’s grace. It has, therefore, become my practice to revisit those times from the past where God has acted when I did not know which way to turn. My reflections are, in fact, the stones of remembrance I’ve carried from the bed of an impassable river that God has carried me through.
Where we have come from may fail to reflect either where we are going or indeed where we want to go. However, such remembrances do provide the ballast to help me stand firm amid the destabilising terrors of the wilderness. I need grounding in the wilderness, for when confronted with what appears the impossible, it’s then I must look to God to ensure my fears subside.
What landmarks of God’s grace lie in the trail you have walked out through life?
Lord, as I look back I can see your good hand guiding me. Help me continue to trust you into the future.
Photo – Cloisters Gloucester Cathedral