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.... These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:3,7b (NIV)
It was in the middle of the Jordan River. God had stopped the flow of the water from upstream. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord could then stand firm in the middle of the river while the Israelites completed their crossing on the dry riverbed over into the promised land. When the whole nation had finished crossing, God gave instructions to bring stones from the middle of the river and make a memorial as a reminder of what he had done for them. So in the middle of this pandemic what is God revealing to each of us that we may want to make a marker/reminder of? Maybe it’s his faithfulness, maybe it’s a mighty work, or maybe, like for me, it’s something in my heart that he is revealing to me that may need a “heart check.”
During these months of having most of my face hidden behind a mask and sunglasses, I noticed how often I was rolling my eyes and smirking. Could my fault-finding thoughts be coming to the surface more frequently? Proverbs 27:19 says, “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” Too quickly I was becoming what my heart was revealing, really sparing of any grace.
As I have begun to pray more for my inner and outer responses to be more gracious and forgiving, my thoughts have become more invaded by God’s thoughts. My desires to do disapproving looks are being ambushed. And a blessing (which a wise person once shared with me) of praying, “Bless them Lord, heal me” infiltrates my mind much more often. As this change in my heart is happening, I know it is the Holy Spirit backing me up and with that comes a supernatural joy and contentment and peace. As Romans 8:6 states, the mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 12:2 is another great reminder of letting God transform us by the way we think.
Will there be a word for a rock of remembrance to describe a faithful act of God’s love for you during this time? I know how easy it is to keep going on in life and forget what God has done for me or to go back to an old pattern of thinking. I want to remember this time where God exposed me to the truth about an area of my heart. His unfailing love has surrounded me once again. He has invaded some ungracious thoughts and ambushed some unbecoming actions.
I think my word may be besieged -- captured by the power of God’s transforming love. He is not leaving me alone in the middle. As He promised in Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will not leave you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep you away.”