It was Memorial Day weekend. I was conducting a Public Speaking workshop for the Boston YWAM staff. For their final assignment, I asked students to prepare a speech that described a “memorial” in their lives. Their presentations confirmed my suspicions—how God so often uses “memorials” to remind us of his faithfulness.
When Israel entered the Promised Land, Joshua instructed the tribes to build a stone memorial at the Jordon River. The purpose of these twelve stones was clear. When children of later generations asked what’s with the stones they would be told of how God miraculously stopped the flow of the Jordan to enable the nation to cross to the other side. It would be “a memorial to the people of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:5-7).
Although most of us don’t have tangible memorials standing in our front yards, I believe we all have those moments when we experience the providence of God in unique, exceptional ways. We think we will always remember them, but the truth is: we forget. Maybe it’s time we intentionally build some memorials in our minds.
I was speaking with a woman the other day who expressed a great deal of concern about potential financial needs in the future. What ifs flooded her mind. Immediately I thought of how faithful God had been to her and her family in the past. In fact, I remembered one specific situation where they were in need of about $25,000 and God supplied it all at just the right time in a way not expected. As I reminded her of God’s faithfulness, I told her to “build a memorial” of that event in her mind. Recall it. Rehearse it. Let it renew her confidence that the same God who showed himself faithful in the past would remain faithful in the future.
That’s what memorials do. They redirect our thinking from the anxieties of the moment to the peace of the past…peace when God came through.
So if you’re struggling with an issue right now, has the Lord provided you with a “memorial” in the past from which you can draw strength? He wants you to remember. In remembering you will infuse your faith. And when faith is infused, you find yourself on the other side of the Jordan.