Read: Joshua 4
I love this story. Testimonies – stories of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and power - are an incredible way to encourage your family and fuel them to keep going. Testimonies stir faith. They remind us why we are doing what we are doing. Like memorial stones, they can be returned to again and again, each time revealing to us the reality and nearness of God. They speak of His constant character and His deep love for each of us. Sadly, however, they aren’t told enough.
We pray together for needs to be met, wisdom to be received, children to turn their hearts to the Lord – but when God answers, do we return to say, “Look what God did!”? Do we celebrate the miracles together? Do we rejoice over the victories He has won in our lives? Do we speak to our children about the goodness of God?
I love in this portion of scripture that the memorial stones, we are told, still stand in the same place speaking of the faithfulness of God to new generations of people. That is the beauty of our testimonies! They speak BEYOND us. As we talk to our children about God’s reality and the ways He has moved in our lives, they become carriers of those stories to future generations. We become a family built on a legacy of faith, our “history” now “HIS story” for those that follow.
A few years ago, after reading this story to my children, we put on our shoes and went on a rock hunt. Finding what we felt we the “perfect” memorial stones, we went home. Grabbing our paints and permanent markers, we decorated our rocks with reminders of things that God had done in our lives – from saving Gideon from what we were told was “certain death” and providing finances for our adoptions over the years. Everyone had a different story of God’s faithfulness and as we painted, we discussed each one.
Once they were dry, we took our stones out to our garden and stacked them one on top of the other. We stood beside them and thanked God for all He had done. And then the rain came. For days, it rained and rained and rained. I watched out my window as the vibrant colors that had been so carefully placed upon our memorial stones slowly disappeared and the rocks retuned to their original greys. Would we forget? Would they ever remember that day and the stories we told? Did it matter?
Feeling a tug at my hand, I looked down to find my son’s beautiful blue eyes staring up at me.
“Can you come tell us another story?”
“About what, little man?”
“About what God did.”
I realized that day what an opportunity I had as a mother – not to carve testimonies on stones, but to carve testimonies on hearts. By sharing my stories, I was sharing my faith. Psalm 37 says, “feast on the faithfulness of God.” Over and over again, God calls to Israel to “remember” all the works that He has done. There is something powerful that happens as we tell and retell our stories of God’s goodness and strength. Each testimony becomes a memorial stone – and each stone reminds us that God IS and He will always be!
How could you create space within your life to celebrate what God is doing?
Write a list of ten things you have saw God do personally and within your family.