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Legacies of Stone

Joshua 4:1-9 says, “When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.”

What an experience it must have been for the Israelites who walked through the Jordan River on dry ground! Then to see the city of Jericho destroyed suddenly after the blast of the trumpets. Miracles like this can only happen by God’s power. It must have been quite an experience to witness such miracles. The stones were monuments that reminded the Israelites of God’s provision and ability to work miracles on their behalf.

As I think about those large stone monuments that every tribe of Israel left, I am reminded of my own. Legacies of stone were a desire for God to help us remember what He's done in the past. He wants us to hold fast to these memories because He knows that in this life we will be slammed with temptations and trials. Trials so severe that at times we may feel we are hanging from a rocky cliff fighting for our life or trials in which we are out in a lake doggy paddling to survive. We may be exhausted, parched, worn out, and in despair but God never abandons us during these times. We need memorials to remind us of this. He is always there to intervene and help us. These places in our life are our legacies of stone. They are our reminders that God always takes care of us just as He cared for the Israelites.

My legacies of stone are in three places: a small town in California, a small town in Michigan, and a small town in Spain. Each of these places hold special memories that shaped me into the person I am today. Periodically, I have to revisit these special legacies of stone.

California will always remain special to me as it was where I felt such a keen sense of family love, closeness, and joy. My great aunts and great grandparents lived in a small town where my legacy stone is. They nurtured us, loved on us, provided a home for my mom, brothers, and I babysat us and had fun watching us grow. I have so many fond memories of that special time and place. Those were my happiest childhood memories.

In my Sophomore year of college, I traveled to Spain to study Spanish, and there on the mountain near my dorm is where another legacy of stone is. That special place is where God shaped me into the young adult He wanted me to be and begin to shape my heart and mind as I chose my profession.

Years later when my boyfriend drowned, the lighthouse at the pier where he drowned would become my third legacy of stone. To this day it is a place I often need to visit especially when the stresses and difficulties of life press in on me. It is then that I feel the need to return to Michigan, sit on the beach, and feel the presence of God once again. As the waves hit the beach and as I see the lighthouse and pier, I am reminded of how God carried me through that difficult time so long ago. As I see the lighthouse, my Legacy Stone, I am reminded again that if God could help me then and provide for my needs so long ago, He will continue to provide and care for me. It is my reminder to trust in God.

We all are faced with trials and struggles on this earth but I hope that all of us can learn to look back at our legacies of stone just as the Israelites did and be reminded of how God helped us in the past. May it be a reminder to us that He will continue to guide, help and lead us. If God can part the waters of the Jordan River for the Israelites think about what amazing things He can do for us! This Legacy of Stone was a reminder to the Israelites to hold onto God, to never forget what He had done for them. Our Legacy of Stones should be our reminders to cling to God and never forget what He has done for us.

What are your Legacies of Stone?

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