Lightning roared as water relentlessly poured out of the heavens.
I looked over to my young son and he stared hopelessly out our window at the rainstorm. Usually, rainstorms are an exciting time at my house as my children run from one window to another to see the rain beating fiercely upon the ground. Yet, this day was a little different.
You see, it was my son's birthday and he had been looking forward to this day for months and barely slept the night before due to his utter excitement. He was especially excited because we had decided to have his birthday party at a local amusement park and all of his friends from school were supposed to meet us there. However, we knew that because of the rainstorm it was likely that his party at the amusement park would have to be canceled.
I ran to the computer hoping the forecast would provide me with hope, but to my dismay it clearly said "Severe Thunderstorms in PM". I looked over to my son and gently broke the news to him; however, instead of completely throwing in the towel I asked him and my other children to pray. I then text messaged all of my friends and also asked them to pray.
Determined not to give up, we got in the car and began to drive to the party. The intense storm hammered the outside of our car as discouragement hammered on the inside. I turned around and encouraged my children to continue to pray. We kept driving and about five minutes later something miraculous happened . . . the rain stopped . . . completely! I looked around and the sun was beaming about beautifully, it was as if there was never a storm. Quietness turned into shouts of praise. I immediately told our children how awesome God is and how He hears our prayers from little things to great things. Moments later we arrived at the amusement park and we had an amazing time; not one drop of rain fell on us the entire night--God is good!
Ever since that day, when a situation arises where I see hopelessness begin to set in my kids' lives, I often remind them of this moment to remind them that God is mighty and to be worshiped for all He does for us. This reminder is especially impacting because the example I reveal to them is not solely my own; instead, we ALL experienced this and they too saw God's power and faithfulness unfold with their own innocent eyes.
In the fourth chapter of the book of Joshua, God used Joshua to lead his people to the Promised Land, In order for Israel to enter into the Promised Land they had to cross over the Jordan River. On the appointed day, Joshua commanded the priests holding the ark of the covenant to lead the way and the moment the soles of their feet touched the water it stopped flowing and all of Israel was able to pass through it. When Israel had crossed over the priests then crossed over the Jordan River and the moment their feet lifted from the water, the water began to rage forth once again. The Lord then commanded Joshua to take twelve stones and set up a memorial to remind their children of the amazing things God had done for them.
Joshua instructed Israel: "When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, 'What are these stones?' then you shall let your children know, saying, 'Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land'; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever" (Joshua 4:21-24 NKJV).
What stones are in your life? What stones our in your family's life? Think of the times that God has really displayed His might and power over the span of your life. Perhaps it was rescuing you from the life you once lived, maybe it was healing you of an illness, or possibly sparing your marriage at the brink of destruction, etc. If we look back we can point to endless things God has done in our lives, from small things to large things.
In the New Testament, Jesus again commands another to show his "stones" to his family. After Jesus healed a demon-possessed man He commanded him, "Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you" (Luke 8:39 NKJV). The man that was healed and that experienced God's power, first-hand, was told to go to his own home to tell his family what Jesus had done for Him.
Shouldn't we do the same?
Ponder today on the pile of stones that have accumulated in your life or (like me) the pile of stones that have accumulated in your family's life. Then, lead your children back to that place constantly to remind them of what a mighty and awesome God we serve, so that their faith may be built up and their reverence of God may increase.
"I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old" (Psalms 77:11 NKJV).