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October 16, 2021

Ann Farabee column: The stones

By Ann Farabee

• Get up and go.

Joshua rose early. He and his people were headed to the Promised Land.

• Prepare yourself.

He told his people to prepare themselves, for the Lord would do wonders among them.

 

• God is with you.

They took the Ark of the Covenant with them. It included:

God’s law — 10 Commandments

God’s provision — manna

God’s authority — Aaron’s rod

• Listen.

The people walked. Right at the brink of the Jordan River, Joshua told them to stand still in order to hear the word of the Lord. They stood still. They listened. They heard.

• Step into the waters.

As soon as the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant took the first step of faith into the flood-like waters, the waters receded. The people passed over on dry ground.

• Give God praise.

After crossing over, God directed one man from each of the 12 tribes to take a stone out of the deepest part of the Jordan River and build a monument. Then, in times to come, when the children ask their fathers, “What do these stones mean?” they could tell them about the great works God had done.

Can you envision it? One man at a time — tearfully laying down his stone — and then lifting his hands toward heaven to express thankfulness and praise for all that God had done.

Try to grasp some of the passion and emotion we might feel if it were us carrying a stone on our shoulders that may at one time have represented a heavy burden — laying that stone down, and then lifting our arms and voices in praise to God for our victory.

Maybe it would sound something like this:

Your Love! Thank You, my God, for loving me even when I didn’t love myself!

Your faithfulness! Oh, God, You have been there for me in the darkest of nights!

Your healing! The doctors said I wouldn’t make it. You, my God, said I would!

Your promises! I’m grieving, but Your promise is that I will see my loved one again!

Your sacrifice! You looked ahead in time and died on the cross for me!

Your salvation! Oh, God! I am unworthy! Thank You for saving me!

Your miracles! I felt hopeless, but you sent victory!

Your grace! Oh, God! Thank You for showing me undeserved favor!

Your presence! When I was depressed and alone, the Holy Spirit brought comfort!

Your mercy! Thank you, Lord, that your mercy follows me!

Your provision! When my family was in need, You provided.

Your forgiveness! I was in sin. You forgave me.

What do our stones mean?

Yes, they will ask us.

Yes, we will tell them.

Because they need to know.

Maybe we can also show them. Here’s how:

• Buy some small stones at a craft store or find some stones in your yard.

• Make a list of some of the great works God has done in your life.

• Use a marker or paint to describe them on the stones.

• Put the stones in a special location in your yard as a monument.

• As the blessings and answers to prayer continue, add more stones.

• Look what the Lord has done.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com.

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