The Gift of the Memorial Stone
By TAHREN TERRELL BRANDON
We waited ten long years, my husband and I, for the birth of our daughter and after much prayer, God delivered a healthy, happy, beautiful baby into our lives. God is certainly faithful to answer prayer and we have realized that there is nothing He cannot or will not do for us, according to His Word.
Prior to our miracle, God had already done so much in my life, too much for me to ever doubt Him; still, I found it very easy to worry and stress over life's problems. Although, regardless of the current trial; it is kind of hard to overlook the living, breathing reminder of His love that is our daughter.
Among the many pet names and loving monikers we have given her, we call her our memorial stone; maybe not as catchy as buttercup or sugarplum, but it carries a lot of meaning. God instructed Joshua to set up memorial stones for the Children of Israel, as a representation of God's goodness to them as they entered the Promised Land. This memorial of twelve stones was placed at the river Jordan to serve as a reminder to the Hebrew people for generations to come (Josh. 4:6-7). It was important to God that the Children of Israel not only remember what He had done for them, but that they talk about it with one another and teach the next generation. He wanted each generation to know of His graciousness to the previous generation, so to create a legacy of trust and obedience to Him (Deut. 6:7).
Often, we have short memories when it comes to God's blessings and can be easily discouraged in difficult times; yet, when we remember, meditate on and talk about God's goodness, like Psalm 77:11-12 encourages us to do, we uplift ourselves and others. So now, when I have dreaded thoughts or anxiety about a given situation, I look at my daughter and remember what God can do. I remember what doctors told me, I remember what those who did not wish me well had to say, I remember the tears, the pain, the heartache and then I remember the joy I experienced when at long last God answered my cry.
In this New Year, I have made a resolution to gather memorial stones. Every time God does a miracle in my life, from jaw dropping miracles, to everyday miracles that are easily overlooked, I will write it down; text it, email it, note it somehow so that I can constantly remember and celebrate all that God does in my life. As Christians, it is beneficial for us to look back at all the things God has done, because it strengthens our faith and makes it more difficult for us to doubt. Trials are a staple in the lives of believers, but our memories will serve us well as a source of hope.
In our darkest times we ought to look at our memorial stones, knowing that God has not forsaken us, nor has He changed; He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). Surely God has already performed mighty acts for us in 2019. What can we look at in our lives and be reminded, without a shadow of a doubt, that God cannot fail, that His promises are sure and His love for us is everlasting? What are your memorial stones? Make an effort to gather them this year. Like Joshua, set them up so that we, along with future generations, can recognize and appreciate God's presence in our lives and consider that our memorial stones are evidence that the same Grace God afforded us before, He will extend again and again and again.