Stones of Remembrance
Do you practice keeping stones of remembrance? I do. They adorn my mantle. Sometimes I move them to other areas of the house, but I always like to keep a few in view. Like the Israelite’s, I’m forgetful. I need a visual reminder of the storms God’s brought me through, the waters He has parted so I could walk through on dry land, the mountain that He has flattened, the crooked path made straight, the gates of brass He has broken open so I could enter, and the bars of iron He has freed me from. I never want my gratitude to fade. Recounting the victories brings the natural response of praise to my Ever-worthy God. It keeps my heart soft and pliable in His hands. It builds my faith during the next trial.
Stones of Remembrance was God’s idea. He knows how frail and faulty we are. At some of the key points in Israel’s history, God instructed the people to place boulders so that any passing by might ask what they mean. Then the Israelites had an opportunity to recount the goodness of their God Who Saves.
I started out recording God’s activity in my life in journals. I still do. However, the stones of remembrance on the mantle take up a small space and are in my line of sight daily. They don’t record every moment, but a few moments of great impact which then remind me of other, smaller moments.
Years ago, Pastor Jeff Hines preached a sermon on priorities. As a visual aid he placed equal amounts of sand, pebbles, water, and various size rocks in a glass container. Depending on the order they filled the container, there was room for all or part. If the largest rock was placed first, followed by the others in ascending size ending with water, it all fit. If the order was varied, the water spilled. The biggest rock represented God. The rest were the important, urgent, responsibilities, and other activities that take our time.
It wasn’t a new concept for me, but the visualization captured me. I made my own container at home as a prompt to prioritize better. After many months, the lesson had been ingrained, so I emptied the container. I kept the rock representing God as the reminder that He is first and foremost in my life.
When I see it, the Spirit whispers, “Am I still first?”
My response? “Yes. Thank you.” Or “No. Forgive me. Help me change.”
Other stones reminder me of the power of godly friendships that steadied me during disastrous times, a token from a pivotal life-moment, and a call to choose carefully. (Gifts and opportunities often come only once. While God redeems the failure, the best He’d planned can be missed.)
Each stone represents an attribute of God. Each recalls His active participation in my life. The newest stone is smooth and white with a hint of brown winding through it. It speaks to me of health and God’s faithfulness and the miracle of answered prayer.
Who am I that God is mindful of me? I am His Beloved, Redeemed-By-the-Blood-of-the-Lamb, Holy-and-Spotless-Bride. I am Stamped-with-His-Own-Image. That’s who I am. The stones of remembrance not only proclaim the wonder of my King, but my relationship to Him. That is tremendously strengthening. God is not only able, He is willing to act on my behalf because of that relationship. He is my Rock, my Firm Foundation. That’s worth remembering.