When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.'”
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen-one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder-twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”
Joshua was a wise man. The Lord had done great things for him and his people. He didn’t want them to forget the Lord’s faithfulness. So he built a memorial.
This passage came to mind as I was putting Little J to bed last night after a long, crazy day of birthday fun.
These boys and their individual entrances into this world are our “stones.”
Big J is our “stone” for God’s protection and faithfulness. After being induced at full-term because of elevated blood pressure, I was not progressing at all. Over 12 hours later, the doctor decided to break my water, and an hour and a half later, Big J’s heart rate dropped. They were unable to get his heart rate back up, so we were rushed to the operating room for an emergency C-section.
The doctors worked so quickly, and other than a little oxygen right after birth, our Big J was here, safe and healthy. We felt God’s presence so strongly, watching over all of us. He was, and is, our Protector.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Little J is our “stone” for the strength and determination that can only come from God. In our area, it is very rare to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean), but we knew God was leading us in that direction. We found a doctor that was in favor of VBACs, as well as an AMAZING doula to guide us through the process. There were a lot of other factors that needed to line up in order for it to all work out, but we knew where God wanted us and we stuck to that.
Even after the first induction failed.
Even several hours into the second induction when the doctor broke my water at the same point they did with Big J and fear followed.
And even 14 hours after having my water broken when Little J arrived – just as God told us he would. He was, and is, our strength.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Along with all the things we learn about ourselves and God from being parents, I am so thankful for the way our children – these “stones” in our life – entered this world and continue to remind us of His goodness and mercy.
What “stones'” has God placed in your life? What events in your life do you need memorialize to remember God’s faithfulness?