How Do I Look Back Without Staring?
“When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.’” Joshua 4:1-3
New Year’s Resolutions – have you made any? Worthwhile, motivating, fresh. We look ahead with resolve and, most importantly, hope for a better future.
Looking back – have you done that?
We don’t have as strong an American tradition of remembering the past year. Thanksgiving Day offers us some of that – reflecting on our blessings, but I need more than a prayer before the turkey is carved. I need to look back and focus on the miracles that God performed in my personal life.
What did He do for you in 2013?
The Israelites saw the Jordan River pushed back in raging flood stage. They walked across a dry riverbed – all of them. And the LORD instructed them to take a stone from the center of the location where the ark of the covenant had rested in order to have a memorial of His goodness, His rescue, His doing on their behalf.
Right now my memorial “stone” is a collection of words written in my journal. Maybe later I will get more creative and design a concrete thing to represent what God did for me this past year.
What about you? What did God do for you that you could not do for yourself?
This looking back motivates us to go forward into the future, trusting that He will do it again, and it causes us to encourage others to rely on Him to care for them, too.
These stones are “to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD.” Joshua 4: 6