The world today is tough. We see and hear about it non-stop. Globally there are wars, political disputes, violence in our schools and cities, and more. Personally, we are worried about grocery prices, viruses, mental health crisis, and security. We worry about ourselves, our kids, our grandkids. The daily burdens, decisions, and interactions can drag us down. During these upcoming Christmas season, we hear about the rise of depression, anxiety, and self-harm. So how do we get out of the cycle of the hustle and bustle and turn our thoughts from daily burdens to God’s faithfulness? We remember.
All throughout the Old Testament you see God instilling practices to help the people remember His goodness. God knew that his people would have memory loss. He knew that they would quickly forget about the mountaintops as soon as they entered into the next valley. He knew that no matter how many times that He came through for them, that they would still question if He would do it again. And He knew that these people would need reminders to share about His faithfulness and blessing to others.
In the book of Exodus, we see God moving in mighty ways to deliver the Hebrew people from slavery of the Egyptians. We see many plagues performed against the Egyptians and as a final act of deliverance, we see God open the Red Sea to let the Israelites cross over on dry ground. Soon after, God placed them in the wilderness where He personally fed them for forty years by providing manna and quail from the sky. God’s final command was for Aaron to get manna and place it in a jar to put in the Ark of the Covenant.
“Moses said to Aaron, ‘Get a jar and fill it with two quarts of manna. Then put it in a sacred place before the Lord to preserve it for all future generations.’ Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded Moses. He eventually placed it in the Ark of the Covenant-in front of the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant.” Exodus 16:33-34
The Hebrews placed the manna in the jar so they could always look back and remember His faithfulness for forty years in the wilderness. Looking at this jar of manna would remind them how God came through for them every single day. It showed how He could be trusted then, and that would lead to confidence that He could be trusted now. It also provided a way for future generations to learn about His faithfulness. The future children could look at this jar and remember that God was faithful to their parents and grandparents and He was still the same God today.
Another example of this is seen in Joshua 4. Again, the Lord had used His power to allow the Israelites to cross another river on dry ground. This time it was the Jordan River and this time it was Joshua leading the people. When all the people had crossed, the Lord told Joshua to choose twelve men to go back to the middle of the Jordan and pick up twelve stones, one for each of the tribes of Israel.
“We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.’” Joshua 4:6-7
Again, God knows that His people will need something to help them remember His goodness. They will need something to look back on during the hard times to encourage them to keep going. They will need memorials in their lives that they can pass down to future generations to tell them about God’s provision.
When is the last time that you have stopped and thought back to all the ways that God has blessed you, all the ways that He has come through? When looking back, it may not always be how we thought it would pan out or how we expected, but we can see His faithfulness along the journey.
Struggling in the grind of the day to day? Feeling that all hope is lost in a situation or that you just aren’t sure you can make it one more minute?
Take time to truly reflect on what He has done for you. Create a journal of ways He has been faithful or supported you and physically write those down. What would be twelve stones of remembrance for you through your life? How has God been faithful to you?
When I think back to some of my stones I cannot help but rejoice in His faithfulness.
In September of 2009 a microburst hit the mobile home we were living in. It was a stressful night where we had to run out of our home during the storm for safety. When we returned to our mobile home after the storm subsided, there was one picture left on the wall that had been destroyed. It said, “Through the storm we do not walk alone.” God protected me.
When my husband felt called to leave his bank branch manager position and pursue ministry by attending seminary, we were a little worried financially as that was a big portion of our monthly income. Soon after, unsigned white envelopes with $100 dollar bills began appearing in the mail on the 15th and 30th of every month. God provided for us.
Every year around my birthday, my Granny would fix me a yellow cake with chocolate icing. The first year after her passing, a parent at my school told me she was sending me a piece of cake with her child for my birthday. With no previous knowledge of my situation, a huge piece of yellow cake with chocolate icing appeared on my desk on my birthday. God remembered me.
I have these stones and so many more. And when I begin to reflect on His goodness and faithfulness, then it leaves no time for me to sit in my sadness and uncertainty. God wants us to remember His past goodness to propel us forward to living in confidence and freedom. God wants us to use our past stories to share with others to encourage them in their journeys.
As you enter into the holiday seasons, take a moment to truly sit down and write out the blessings of God in your life. Reflect on the big, and the small things. As you go through your day and you see a “God wink” in your life, write it down. These things can be used to help us through our hard times and can be monuments that we can share with future generations regarding God’s goodness. Will you take the time to remember?
Written by Amy Carrico
Author of Making the Moments Matter Blog
Last Updated on December 5, 2023