I met Noëlle Ciganek over a decade ago during my first year teaching and our paths kept crossing over the years until finally we were able to really get to know each other through the Moms in Prayer group she started for our kids’ elementary school. She has been such a blessing to our family. She shared a tangible way to remember God’s faithfulness with our group last year and it has been a blessing for our family that I pray will be for you as well!
Remember. God commands His people over and over to remember what He has done, whether by writing it down (see Exodus 17:14), celebrating a festival or feast (see Exodus 12), or through the memorial of a tangible object (see Exodus 16:32). Within just three days after a miraculous deliverance from Egypt, the Israelites were fearful and complaining. Our first response is to be critical of their attitude, but are we really any different? Does God not do marvelous things in our lives and we turn right around only to complain, doubt, or fear? While everything He does is worth our praise and commemoration, He wants us to remember His faithfulness so that we will choose to trust Him and not fear when future crises arrive.
In Joshua 4, the Israelites had just finished another miraculous dry crossing, this time through the Jordan River. The LORD then commands Joshua to have one man from each of the 12 tribes of Israel take up a stone from the middle of the river where the priests stood with the Ark of the Covenant “to serve as a sign” (v.6). These stones were to be a reminder forever of the LORD’s faithfulness, once again, as He provided a way of deliverance for His people.
While sitting in church a few years ago, this passage in Joshua was referenced, and God gave me the beautiful idea of creating our family’s own “faith stones” as a visual reminder of His faithfulness. Like the Israelites, I, too, find myself doubting and fearing even though I have experienced the greatness of God many times over. Our faith stones are a visual, tangible reminder of the many times He has cared for and provided for us in the past, strengthening our faith and trust in Him in whatever our present circumstances may be.
We keep our stones (found at most craft stores, or if you feel more adventurous, you could collect your own) in a treasure box at the fireplace because that has always been a central focus of our living area. Whenever we see and experience God’s faithfulness, we choose a rock and write the specifics of the event and the date. Though our children are still young, they are aware of our faith stones and good conversations have been initiated as they ask, “What do these stones mean?” (see Joshua 4:6). The children enjoy sifting through the rocks, specifically looking for the ones that have each of their names on them! Our faith stones are a testimony and remembrance that God is faithful. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. If He has seen us through a storm in the past, then we can trust Him to do so again!!