Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Stones from the River

“So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, ‘Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take a stone on his shoulder…These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever’” (Joshua 4:4-7, NIV 2011).

This year before Christmas I received a notification that Anne Alexander had given a gift in my honor to the International Mission Board. Her husband Murray had been my patient years ago, when God had healed him miraculously from a widespread cancer.
It was good to think of Anne and Murray again. Murray had told me in the midst of his cancer that the one thing he had always most feared was the word, “cancer.” He also told me that, when he prayed during those times, he had not ask for healing but had asked that God would be with him. He announced to his family, before his healing, that God had been so close to him that he would not choose to give up that presence even if it meant keeping the cancer.
It was good to think of him again.

Some of our memories are like the drawn string of a bow with the power to move us forward toward God’s target:
Memories of blessings that remind us of God’s love.
Memories of God’s powerful presence, like Murray Alexander. As I move into an uncertain future, I walk with the God who healed Murray Alexander. The God who has been there before in power is still beside me.
Memories of deliverance.
Memories of unfinished mission, orders from my King that I started to obey and never finished.
Memories of dreams I had laid beside because they seemed to be too distant to reach, but dreams that God has never told me to relinquish.

Maria Skobtsova once wrote a beautiful mission statement:
“I am your message, Lord. Throw me like a burning torch into the night so that all may see and know what it means to be your disciple.”
A torch cannot be thrown without an arm that stretches out behind. It is the memories of God’s presence in our past that often provide the power we need to fly forward into His future.
Seek to remember.

Dear God,
Please help me collect stones from the river of my life that will consistently remind me who you are.

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