Lessons from Joshua 4

Before me sits a collection of knickknacks in a glass jar from my husband’s childhood. In this jar I see dice, game pieces, small toys, spools and a pin or two. I stop to wonder of the memories attached to the trinkets we carry through life with us. It reminds me of the story in Joshua 4 where God instructs the Israelites to gather 12 stone from the Jordan to be a memorial of what the Lord had done for them.

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6that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’7then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”

It is important to know the context of this story. The Israelites had been in the desert for 40 years (due to sin and not trusting God) prior to crossing the Jordan river. At this time, generations had come and gone in the desert; they were ready to leave the hurt of the past behind them and to move to the promised land. In order to get to the promised land, the Jordan river had to be crossed. God performed a miracle similar to the parting of the Red Sea when He parted the Jordan for His people to walk through. God then commanded Joshua to instruct the people he lead (one from each tribe) to pick up a stone from the river bed so that they could bare witness to Gods miraculous works to future generations.

The part of this account I’m drawn to is that the Lord had the Israelites gather stones in order that they would be able to show their children His work in their lives. As a young momma, I often think about what memory I will leave behind for my children. While our materialistic keepsakes might hold importance to us, what is even more important is the heritage we leave our children with. This is something I want to be intentional about building in their lives. I want my children to see me in a relationship with the Lord and know that momma surrenders her life to God’s leading. That I follow Him, not just when it is easy and I like where He is leading but every moment I am bowed to His Sovereignty. I want my children to know and to live in abundance everyday. It is my desire they know how to make not only good decisions, but the best decisions for their lives in honoring God. It is important to teach our children pf God’s grace and forgiveness for when we inevitably mess up. I want my children to know that as much as momma and daddy love them, there is a God who loves them beyond anything they could ever fathom. I want them to learn to see the beauty around them amidst this broken world; to know that God stitched them together in my womb and that they are beautifully and fearfully made. I want my children to know of the redeeming work God has done in my life and that they too can be saved if only they choose to follow Christ and believe.

As a momma in the struggles of motherhood, this idea of what I desire to teach my children can seem overwhelming at times. There are moments I just want to get through the next hours until daddy gets home so that I can regroup; days I don’t make time to think about the future but instead do my best to cherish these years of sweeping up lost Cheerios and trying to keep up with my toddler. Today is all we are promised, these moments we are living right now might be all we are given. None of us know how much time we will be given on this earth, but it is up to us to make the decision to make the moments we live count. It is today’s moments that will count for our children – that will create who they become and how they will carry themselves through this life and more importantly where they will spend eternity.

May I encourage us all to be intentional in the decisions we make today. Our children are our future – lets make it a beautiful one!

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