When Life Gets Tough, Set Up Some Stones

stones by river
In Joshua 4, the Israelites are told to leave stones as a reminder to future generations about the wondrous acts of God. They would be a reminder to the nation of Israel that God lead them across the Jordan River on dry ground.  In Hope in the Dark, the author says “his prayer [Habakkuk’s] basically challenges us to recall our own key memories: those people, places, moments in time, and provisions that reveal the bigger picture of God’s presence in our lives…rather than…replaying only our immediate, distressing circumstances.” (P. 120)
Today, when you survive only on coffee and you feel like you’re about to drop from grief or exhaustion or frustration or loneliness, set up some stones. They don’t have to be pretty, like those silly painted rocks that have been popular recently.  In fact, in my current, sleep-deprived state, I feel like my stones would end up in a jumbled heap anyway.  Or my two-year-old would steal them and throw them at a sibling.  That’s OK.  God will honor any attempt at remembrance and faith.  Remember what God has done in your past and know that he will act again. You just have to trust.
Here is my sample list, but please make your own and read it as often as you need to be reminded of what God has done for you.
  1. Worked out all the details for us to move to the mission field and to move back.
  2. I didn’t know why God would have us get rid of everything for just two years on the field, but He did. He knew I would need to get reestablished here before I lost Trevor, and he knew that I would need to learn some serious lessons in faith that would serve me well when I lost my husband.
  3. God saved the souls of my two oldest boys and I got the privilege of seeing them baptized by their daddy.
  4. When family let me down, God gave me friends to step into the gap and walk with me so I wouldn’t be alone.
  5. Coffee.  And more coffee.
  6. The fact that I am still living, homeschooling, and caring for my kids is proof that God strengthens those who lean on him.
  7. When the shrubs at my house bloomed for the first time, and I realized they were pink azaleas. (Pink is my fave color!)
  8. When everything in my life changed in an instant, I was so thankful to know that God’s word is unchanging.
  9. After losing three pregnancies (2007-2008), God has blessed me with three more healthy children, the last of which was a final gift from my husband – the result of a vasectomy reversal.  🙂
There are so many other things I could list here; things that are more recent or closer to home, but suffice it to say that God will act as he has done in the past. He doesn’t always do it on our timetable and he most certainly doesn’t do it without pain, but he will act, just as he did in the past. We can rest in that promise.
Final tidbits: Meditate on Lamentation 3 and let its truths soak into your weary soul.  Also, read the picture book It Will Be Okay by Lysa Terkeurst.

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